UAMS Celebrates Opening of New Allied Health College Home

By Nate Hinkel

Most of the college’s 17 programs that call the 72,000-square-feet buildings home were previously spread across locations in Little Rock and North Little Rock. About $5 million in renovations – partly funded by a 2006 bond issue approved by Arkansas voters – were completed to accommodate the college that moved into the facility earlier this year. The fall 2009 semester that started in August marked the first time the facility was used for a full slate of classes.

UAMS and college officials were joined by University of Arkansas System President B. Alan Sugg, Ph.D., to celebrate the project with an open house. The event was held in the college’s new Student Study Center building that also includes study space for individuals and small groups.

“The College of Health Related Professions is 38 years old this year, and the programs have never had a common home,” Ronald Winters, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health Related Professions “This facility also gives our college room to grow and space for academic resources we could not accommodate in the past, further enhancing our education programs.”

The college began the 2009-2010 academic year with a record 707 students including those who are registered in CHRP graduate-level programs through the UAMS Graduate School. It encompasses professions from dental hygiene to surgical technology, from genetic counseling to diagnostic medical sonography.

“This facility gives our College of Health Related Professionals the ability to produce more health care professionals at a time when there is growing demand,” said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. “We are grateful for the support of voters for the bond issue that helped make this facility possible for us.”

Winters said the new home will promote a more college campus-like atmosphere for students as well as cross-discipline collaborations among faculty and students.

Winters said the 50-year-old buildings were in good shape structurally. With the addition of some new interior walls and removal of others, as well as upgrades to bathrooms and other facilities, the buildings became office space, work areas, small classrooms, teaching labs and conference rooms.

The facility also provided space for new resources, such as an ambulance simulator for the Emergency Medical Services. The facility allowed the Respiratory Care program to move to the UAMS campus after being located at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System facility in North Little Rock. It also allowed the Genetic Counseling program to move from a small renovated house on Cedar Street near the UAMS campus.

The former State Hospital administration building provides administrative space for the college. The building also houses offices for the Graduate School, the UAMS Office of Diversity Affairs, Student Financial Services, Academic Affairs and Financial Aid. This puts those offices in convenient proximity to other campus education buildings.

A plaza area and two courtyards provide outdoor spaces where students and faculty can congregate or find a quiet place to eat lunch or study. The entire facility has wireless Internet access.

The Arkansas State Hospital moved into a new complex in June 2008.

Renovations began in July 2008 following asbestos removal. The college began moving into the new facility in April 2009.

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 2,775 students and 748 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 employers 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 or