Jones Eye Institute at UAMS Dedicates Pat Walker Tower

By todd

LITTLE ROCK –The Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute (JEI) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), one of only 20 free-standing eye institutes in the country, dedicated the Pat Walker Tower today.


The five-story, 56,000-square-foot addition was made possible through a $15 million gift from Pat Walker of Springdale, a longtime UAMS and JEI supporter. The facility was designed by Polk Stanley Yeary Architects Ltd. and built by Baldwin Shell. The addition doubles the size of JEI and allows it to expand programs and develop new ones.


“The Pat Walker Tower will provide for new and expanded programs that can better serve patients with serious eye diseases,” said John Shock, M.D., UAMS executive vice chancellor, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, and director of JEI.


Shock thanked Walker for her generosity that will help make it possible for JEI to bring a whole new level of ophthalmic care to the state.


Also attending the ceremony were B. Alan Sugg, Ph.D., president of the University of Arkansas System; I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., UAMS chancellor; and UAMS College of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.


“These new facilities will allow our faculty to substantially increase clinical, research and teaching efforts,” Wilson said.


Guest speaker was former U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, who noted Walker’s support has helped thousands of Arkansans and will impact future generations to come.


The Walker Tower includes:


·        Two additional outpatient surgery suites, bringing the total to four

·        20 additional exam rooms and five more special procedure rooms

·        Expanded space for the Arkansas Lions Eye Bank founded in 1985 by the Ophthalmology Department at UAMS.

·        Additional administration space and a new library to support curriculum and research

·        Education space for the Ophthalmic Medical Training Program (OMT), one of only seven in the nation.

·        Expanded space for clinical trials and unfinished expansion space for future research.  


Walker and her late husband, Willard, created the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation in 1986. Since that time, their generosity has touched the lives of thousands of Arkansans.


The foundation has given more than $37 million to UAMS. Their most recent gift of $21.5 million included $15 million for the Pat Walker Tower at the Jones Eye Institute. $5 million for Alzheimer’s disease research at the Institute on Aging and $1.5 million for the Psychiatry Research Institute. Also, the Walkers gave $8 million in the mid 90s to expand the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at UAMS. The ACRC’s Pat and Willard Walker Tower is named in their honor.


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 $4.4 billion a year.