UAMS and U.S Army Corps of Engineers Dedicate Long-term Campsites for Patients

By Christina Trimble

 

 

 

 

News Release
May 21, 2009
Media Contacts:
Leslie W. Taylor, 501-686-89998
Wireless phone: 501-951-7260
leslie@uams.edu

P.J. Spaul, 501-324-5551
p.j.spaul@usace.army.mil

LITTLE ROCK – For the hundreds of patients who travel far from home for treatment at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), finding a place to live is a top priority.

To help alleviate the burden of locating temporary housing, UAMS has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide 10 long-term campsites at Maumelle Park. The full-service RV sites are designated for patients at UAMS and were dedicated today at a ceremony at the west Pulaski County park.

“Our patients travel from all 50 states and around the world to receive the most advanced cancer treatment we can provide,” said Peter Emanuel, M.D., director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at UAMS. “The last thing we want them worrying about is where they are going to stay during their treatment, which can sometimes last weeks or months. These campsites are a wonderful way for us to provide an affordable housing option for our patients who need it.”

Among those representing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the ceremony were Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp of Washington, D.C., chief of engineers; Col. Ed Jackson, Little Rock District engineer; BG Kendall Cox, the Southwest Division Commander; and Andrea Lewis, Little Rock District chief of operations.

“This partnership with UAMS allows us to better meet the needs of out-of-town patients who want to camp in Maumelle Park while undergoing extended medical treatments,” said Jackson. “It adds one more affordable option for some patients, and the fact that they can be in a restful park setting is a definite plus.”

An agreement between UAMS and the Corps was announced July 29, 2008, to establish the campsites for patients undergoing extended medical treatment. According to the Corps, more than 81 people in Maumelle Park during the previous year were seeking long-term stays related to medical care.

However, federal regulations limit the time that individuals can stay at the Corps-operated park, often requiring them to move before their treatment is complete.

UAMS provided $90,000 for the partnership to be led by the UAMS Medical Center, the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy. The Myeloma Institute, led by Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D., is internationally recognized for its innovative research and treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood’s plasma.

The Corps obtained seed money to be used for construction management, septic needs and daily utilities and maintenance. UAMS funds provided for the remaining camp site building needs.

Maumelle Park provides a unique setting for camping, boating, fishing or relaxing. The park offers eight group picnic shelters and 129 campsites with electricity and water hook ups. Other amenities include a boat launch ramp, playground, hot showers, public telephones and a dump station.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a new 540,000-square-foot hospital, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,652 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com.