UAMS Receives $8.735 Million Bequest for Medical Research

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has received $8.735 million for medical research in a bequest from Helen Guinn Adams of Fayetteville. Adams, widow of Roy A. Adams, died Jan. 1, 2004. The couple had no children.


The money, one of the most sizeable gifts by an individual in support of medical research, will be used to create the Helen Guinn Adams Research Endowment.


“We are deeply grateful to Mrs. Adams for this bequest,” said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. “A gift of this size will have transforming, long-lasting effects in its ability to bring about changes over time in health care through improved medical research.”


Adams was born April 9, 1906, in Huntsville, the daughter of James Henry Guinn, a merchant, and Nannie Stotts Guinn. Adams graduated from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in 1929. She married Roy A. Adams of Fayetteville and the couple owned Adams Flower Shop there. Roy Adams died in 1968 and Helen Adams left the florist business.


The gift came from proceeds of the sale of Berkshire Hathaway stock the couple had bought.


Charles Stewart of Fayetteville, her nephew and executor, said his aunt’s interest in medical research may have stemmed from a bout with bone cancer in her jaw, for which she was successfully treated at UAMS about 15 years ago. Adams also had donated to UAMS as a member of the Chancellor’s Circle.


“UAMS gave her 15 more years of her life, and I think she was impressed with what they did for her,” Stewart said. “She lived a modest life, and she had a fabulous mind up until she died.”


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,200 students and 660 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.1 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.