Great Grads: Leila Alston ’81
When central Arkansas recognized the need for more health services administrators for the region, UALR responded with a new educational program.
When Alumni Association President Leila Alston heard the university response, she rushed to fill a seat in the new program.
Today Alston is a proud member of the universityâ€²s first graduating class in the masterâ€²s of health services administration program, graduating in 1981. And she continues her affiliation with her alma mater as president of the UALR Alumni Association.
“The MHSA program has grown from a brand-new and unaccredited program, graduating a few of us in 1981, to one of the finest in the country,” Alston said.
Alston said these graduates are found at leadership levels in many healthcare organizations throughout the state, and having this program in Arkansas allows us to keep these professionals in the state.
Keeping motivated professionals like Alston, who continue to make a difference in the lives of others, builds Arkansasâ€² economy and is a big plus for Arkansans.
Alstonâ€²s professional career includes more than 20 years with Baptist Health, where she has served in a wide range of positions from administrative assistant to vice president of network development.
Alston uses her leadership skills to guide the Alumni Board into a more active role in the community.
“This is an exciting time for UALR and therefore, the Alumni Board,” Alston said. “We see the board stepping up to more visibly serve as ambassadors to the community and raise the level of awareness about the alumni association within the student body.”
In addition to her service at work and to the university, this wife and mother of two also plays an important role in an organization whose cause is close to her heart: she was a founding member of the Susan G. Komen Foundation Board and represents Komen on the state Breast Cancer Control Advisory Board.
During her year as president of the Komen Foundationâ€²s Little Rock chapter, it won national recognition.
Alston is member of the Pulaski County Medical Society Auxiliary, a sustaining member of the Junior League of North Little Rock, and the Leadership Greater Little Rock.
Her message to fellow alums?
“Simply, get involved.”