UAMS, CARTI Agree on Sale of Clinic Assets

By Jon Parham

Radiation treatment on the UAMS campus following the closing of the transaction will be provided by UAMS and its faculty physicians, physicists and other employees, while CARTI will continue providing radiation therapy on the campuses of St. Vincent, Baptist Health in Little Rock and North Little Rock, and in Searcy, Conway and Mountain Home.

The purchase price of the CARTI/UAMS facility is $9.5 million and the transaction is set to close on June 29, 2012. A memorandum of understanding between UAMS and CARTI has been approved by the CARTI Board of Directors and the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.

UAMS and CARTI have had a productive association for more than 40 years. In 1968, UAMS, St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, Baptist Medical Center and the VA Hospital came together to help establish CARTI on the St. Vincent campus as a centralized provider of radiation therapy. At that time, the majority of radiation therapy patients were seeking treatment out of state because it was too expensive for hospitals to operate separate units.

The thought was that by the hospitals’ pooling of their support for one facility in Little Rock, Arkansans would have access to radiation therapy without leaving the state.

In 1976 CARTI treated its first patient and over the years has opened seven separate facilities across the state and on hospital campuses in Little Rock to meet patient demand for radiation therapy. With the growth of visits by patients treated by UAMS faculty physicians at both the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and Arkansas Children’s Hospital, CARTI began operating a radiation oncology clinic on the UAMS campus in 2001. The clinic was constructed by UAMS and leased to CARTI.

On Aug. 24, 2011, CARTI, Little Rock Hematology Oncology and Radiation Oncology Associates, P.A., announced that they were partnering to form the state’s largest private practice multi-specialty cancer group with plans to build a new cancer treatment center in Little Rock. Owned by CARTI, the organization will include medical and surgical oncologists and diagnostic radiologists, with the possibility of eventually adding other cancer specialties. UAMS subsequently determined that it wanted to conclude the relationship with CARTI and operate the radiation therapy clinic on its campus solely as a program of the UAMS Rockefeller Cancer Institute and the UAMS Department of Radiation Oncology. Since that time, UAMS and CARTI have been negotiating for sale and purchase of the equipment and other assets of CARTI/UAMS and termination of the lease agreement. Providing quality patient care and assuring its continuation has been the primary focus of both UAMS and CARTI throughout the negotiations.

“UAMS has enjoyed a long relationship with CARTI and we really appreciate their service to our patients and the people of Arkansas over the years. We wish them nothing but the best in their new endeavor,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “By operating the radiation therapy clinic solely as a UAMS program we feel we will be better able in the future to reach our overarching goal of achieving National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation for our Rockefeller Cancer Institute and ensure the high level of academics, service and research innovations that designation requires.”

“Since our opening, CARTI has provided radiation therapy for the patients of UAMS, and during the past 11 years, we have had a presence on their campus,” said Jan Burford, President and CEO of CARTI. “During that time, CARTI’s partnership with the University has been positive not only for our patients, but for both organizations. We will work closely with the University staff to ensure that the transition is seamless for our patients and their families, as well as our colleagues.”

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

CARTI, a not-for-profit organization that offers medical and surgical oncology, diagnostic radiology, hematology/oncology and radiation oncology to cancer patients throughout the state, treating approximately 14,000 patients each year. As the state’s largest private practice cancer provider, CARTI has radiation therapy facilities located in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Mountain Home and Searcy; and hematology/oncology facilities located in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Benton, Oncology clinics also are held in Clinton, El Dorado, Heber Springs and Morrilton to provide easier access to chemotherapy. The CARTI Foundation was founded in 1983, allowing qualifying CARTI patients access to such programs as housing, transportation and financial assistance, emotional and nutritional counseling and cancer survivor retreats. CARTI employs 350 people. For more information, visit