Dr. BalaDr. Balamuruganmurugan, (or Dr. Bala, as he prefers to be called) is a board-certified family and preventive medicine physician, an epidemiologist, and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). He joined the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine in 2013 and currently serves as an adjunct Clinical Associate Professor and precepts residents and medical students in the Family Medical Center. He obtained his medical degree at Tamilnadu Dr. MGR Medical University in Chennai, India, and completed his Family Medicine residency at our program, where he was a chief resident. He obtained his Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He further obtained his Doctorate in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Policy and Epidemiology from UAMS. Dr. Bala completed a fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Preventive Medicine Residency and Fellowship Program and became board-certified in Preventive Medicine. He is also board-certified in Obesity Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. Besides serving as the ADH Deputy Chief Medical Officer, he is also the State Chronic Disease Director, overseeing and providing medical guidance to chronic disease programs such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, tobacco, substance use, nutrition, and physical activity across the state through the ADH’s local health units. Additionally, he serves as an adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Epidemiology in the UAMS College of Public Health. He is widely published both in national and international journals and has obtained numerous awards for his work. These include the Director’s Science Award for his contribution to the ADH, the Chronic Disease Champion by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, and the Physician Volunteer of the Year award for his work at the Harmony Health Clinic, which serves the uninsured and underinsured residents of central Arkansas. Dr. Bala also is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society and is currently serving as the 73rd President of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians.