Cancer Institute Sculpture Dedication Honors Bookout

By David Robinson

Bookout’s family was joined by Gov. Mike Beebe, current and former members of the Arkansas Legislature and UAMS officials for the unveiling of a sculpture dedicated to his memory. Titled “Transformation,” the sculpture is located in the Bookout Translational Research Center on the fourth floor of the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Bookout was treated at the UAMS for lymphoma and died in 2006.

“Jerry Bookout had an unmatched dedication to the health care and education of Arkansans,” Beebe said. “Throughout his Senate career, he championed programs and services to improve the quality of life in Arkansas and to bring quality health care to those who needed it most.”
Bookout’s friend and colleague, former state Sen. Bob Johnson of Bigelow, echoed Bookout’s dedication to Arkansas and UAMS. “We’re here today to honor a man who put the needs of others before his own. His leadership and vision for Arkansas is still impacting the state and will for many years to come,” Johnson said.

The sculpture of a woman with arms uplifted in a gesture of hopeful contentment was created by Michael Warrick, art professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The sculpture’s placement in the Bookout Center for Translational Research marks a spot in the Cancer Institute near both research and patient care areas.

“Translational research involves transforming scientific discoveries in clinical practice. We take what our brightest scientific minds have concluded throughout years of thoughtful research and put it into practice to benefit patients in the real world,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “Sen. Bookout was well aware of the power of medical research to affect the health of people living with diseases such as cancer. It is very appropriate for us to honor his memory by naming this area of the Cancer Institute after him.”

The Arkansas Legislature’s $36 million match of private donations funded in large part the construction of the Cancer Institute’s 12-story expansion tower that opened in August 2010. Senate Bill 381 sponsored by Bookout’s son, Sen. Paul Bookout of Jonesboro, and Rep. Eddie Cooper of Melbourne allowed for the matching funds and was approved unanimously by members of the House and Senate. Beebe granted UAMS an additional $1.5 million from general improvement funds that had to be matched by private donations.

“Without the support of the Legislature and the governor, our new Cancer Institute would not have been possible. Although Senator Bookout is no longer with us, we know that his leadership played an important role in ensuring the Legislature’s continued dedication to the Cancer Institute’s research and clinical care programs,” said Cancer Institute Director Peter Emanuel, M.D.

Paul Bookout expressed thanks on behalf of his mother, Loretta, and the rest of the family. “My dad’s commitment to Arkansas was unwavering. Throughout his 34 years in the Legislature, he fought for our state’s citizens to have the best of everything, including access to the finest education and health care. I know that he would be honored and humbled today to be remembered for those efforts,” he said.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: 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 only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,836 students and 761 medical residents. 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 or