New UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute to Combine Inpatient, Outpatient Care With Research and Education

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) today broke ground for its Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI), one of only nine institutions in the country to combine psychiatric research and education with inpatient and outpatient care.


When completed, the more than $23 million PRI will be one of the most innovative psychiatric treatment and research facilities in the nation. The facility, designed by The Wilcox Group architectural firm and built by CDI and East-Harding, is scheduled to be completed in early 2008.


The PRI will be located adjacent to the new UAMS hospital expansion, to be completed in 2008, and will allow easy access to a wide range of mental health care. The PRI also will be the hub for outreach and referral programs that bring psychiatric care to Arkansans across the state.


“The Psychiatric Research Institute will make the latest in psychiatric research and treatment available to Arkansans and will help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness,” said G. Richard Smith, M.D., professor and Marie Wilson Howells chair of the Department of Psychiatry.


Plans for the five-story building include:


  • The Dierks Research Laboratories, which will incorporate studies into pharmaceutical trials, psychotherapy research and the development of new treatments for addictions and other disorders being studied by faculty in the department.


  • The Walker Family Clinic, which will consolidate many current outpatient services for adolescents, adults and the elderly. The clinic will provide specialty programs, including treatment for addictive disorders, eating disorders, anxiety and depressive disorders and post traumatic stress disorders. More than 50,000 patient visits to the clinic are expected each year.


  • A consolidation of the department’s student, residency and fellowship programs, bringing educators, clinicians and students together.


  • Two floors dedicated to inpatient care – bringing patients and their physicians into the same building with students and researchers, and guaranteeing a continuity of care and compassion.


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 2,320 students and 690 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with almost 9,000 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.3 billion a year.