UAMS Receives $21.5 Million from Walker Foundation

By todd

The foundation directed $15 million to the Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, $5 million for the UAMS Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and $1.5 million to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the UAMS College of Medicine. The gift to the Jones Eye Institute will allow UAMS to add five additional floors to the present building which will be called the Pat Walker Tower. The Alzheimer’s center will be named in honor of Pat Walker and the late Willard Walker. The gift will also allow construction to begin on the new UAMS Center for Psychiatric Research, Education and Clinical Care, which will house the Walker Family Clinic.

“We are profoundly moved by the Walker family’s generosity. Their gift will allow us to greatly expand our research and patient care for people coping with eye diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and mental illness,” UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., said. “Yet it is Pat Walker’s, and her late husband Willard Walker’s, empathy for all people who struggle with poor health, more than their philanthropic leadership, that makes them inspirations to all of us at UAMS. We are better as healers and teachers and scientists because of our association with the Walker family.”

The Jones Eye Institute is one of only 20 free-standing vision research institutes in the nation. The Walkers made an earlier gift of $6 million to the institute for the Pat and Willard Walker Eye Research Center. John P. Shock, M.D., is chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology in the UAMS College of Medicine, director of the eye institute, and executive vice chancellor of UAMS.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Center, established with a grant from the National Institute on Aging, is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics in the College of Medicine. Cornelia Beck, Ph.D., R.N., a professor of geriatrics, psychiatry, and nursing, is director of the center.

The Department of Psychiatry provides residency training and a variety of out-patient clinical services and conducts research in a wide range of mental health issues. G. Richard Smith, M.D., is chairman of the department and the Marie Wilson Howells Professor and Chair of Psychiatry.

The Walkers’ previous gifts to UAMS have amounted to more than $16 million. The original tower of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at UAMS is named for the Walkers.

The late Willard Walker was the manager of Sam Walton’s Five & Dime in Fayetteville and the Springdale Wal-Mart Store # 3. Willard and Pat Walker believed in and supported Sam Walton’s idea for success and feel very fortunate to have been a part of the Wal-Mart empire. The Walkers have enjoyed sharing their financial success by supporting many education and health care programs in the State. They are widely known and beloved in the State of Arkansas.