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Office of the Chief Science Officer

The mission of the Office of the Chief Science Officer (CSO) is to promote scientific excellence in all programmatic, educational, and public health research activities of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). The office of the CSO works with the Department’s scientists, epidemiologists, and external researchers to promote professional development and to further scientific analyses and investigations of various sources of data.

The office of the CSO is comprised of:

Namvar Zohoori, MD, PhD
Chief Science Officer

Austin Porter, DrPH, MPH
Deputy Chief Science Officer


Objectives of the Office of the Chief Science Officer include:

  1. Ensuring long-term scientific investments at ADH;
  2. Upholding scientific ideals, and creating an environment of scientific excellence and innovation;
  3. Providing coordination for ADH public health research activities;
  4. Encouraging and promoting collaborative scientific and educational activities with institutions of higher learning;
  5. Maintaining the integrity of the agency’s scientists by supporting training and information exchange, and providing direction on matters of scientific integrity;
  6. Assuring the protection of human subjects in public health research activities that use ADH databases and information;
  7. Managing the confidentiality functions of ADH for sensitive research data;
  8. Facilitating and maintaining compliance with, and adherence to, the ADH Misconduct Policy, with HIPAA requirements, and with the terms of the Federal Wide Assurance for the Protection of Human Subjects.

Below are materials that contain information about the purpose and objectives of the Office of the Chief Science Officer. Additionally, information about accessing data for research and public use purposes is provided.

Arkansas Department of Health Data Request Process:

  1. Review
  2. Prepare study protocol: Requestors should work with program staff to confirm the availability and reliability of variables needed for the project:
  3. Obtain IRB approval: Institutional IRB approval or waiver must be obtained prior to completing the data request form. In the absence of an IRB letter, the request can only be provisionally approved, and data will not be released until the IRB letter is uploaded.
  4. Complete Data Request Form: The online data request form provides the agency with the background, purpose, variables requested, and other information for consideration.
  5. Science Advisory Committee (SAC) Review: The SAC meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 1:30pm to review data requests. The SAC may approve, ask for modifications, or deny data requests
  6. Data Use Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding: Fulfillment of data requests is initiated after the Data Use Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding are signed by agency staff and requestors.

Programs & Resources

Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
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4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867