UAMS Northwest Campus Receives $435,000 from Walmart Foundation for Academic Specialty Clinic

By Jon Parham

The grant from the Bentonville-based retailer’s charitable foundation will create an academic specialty clinic where physician specialists will see patients while also teaching students. Hands-on, supervised clinical training is a critical component of the medical, nursing, pharmacy and allied health programs on the campus.

The clinic will use 5,800 square feet of existing space adjacent to the library and Student Clinical Education Center. It is expected to open by the end of 2012.

“This clinic expands the range of clinical experiences our students will have on campus,” said Peter O. Kohler, M.D., vice chancellor for UAMS Northwest Arkansas Region. “The continued support from the Walmart Foundation has been a major factor in assembling this campus as a catalyst for producing health care professionals who will improve health and health care in Arkansas.”

With this grant, support of the regional campus from the Walmart Foundation surpassed $2 million. In 2010, the foundation awarded a $650,000 grant for interactive video equipment and information technology resources in a computer lab and classrooms. In 2009, a $1 million grant funded renovations to the first floor of the former Washington Regional Medical Center hospital that houses the campus.

The clinic will accommodate a wide range of specialists such as endocrinologists/internists, prosthetic surgeons, orthopedics and even dental practices.

Plans for the Student Clinical Education Center were announced in January. In the 8,000-square-foot clinical education center, students will gain experience with real and simulated patients.

The center, expected to open in early 2013, will include the Clinical Skills Center, where students will work with volunteers – known as standardized patients – who simulate an illness. Also in the center will be the Student Continuity Clinic, where supervised students will follow real patients in an actual clinic setting throughout their training at UAMS.

Opened in 2009, UAMS Northwest enrollment for the fall 2011 semester totaled 107 students. This included 19 medical students and 37 pharmacy students along with nursing and radiologic imaging students that are part of the UAMS Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Northwest on the campus. In addition there are 30 resident physicians serving in the AHEC.

Eventual enrollment at UAMS Northwest is expected to be between 250-300 with students in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and allied health programs, along with resident physicians who will be serving residencies at area hospitals and clinics.

In addition to its academic program, the AHEC Northwest provides medical care to patients in two family medical clinics and continuing education programs to health care professionals from across the region.

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 hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven 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, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 775 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or