UAMS & St. Vincent Sign Letter of Intent to Explore Affiliation Opportunities

By Jon Parham

“As the state’s only academic health center, UAMS’ mission is to lead the way in improving the health and health care of all Arkansans by educating tomorrow’s health care workforce, searching for cures through medi¬cal research and providing excellent clinical care,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D.

“An aging population; a shortage of physicians, nurses and other professionals; inaccessibility to care in ru¬ral areas; and the uncertain impact of health care reform are just a few of the challenges facing the health care system of the future,” Rahn said. “If we are to meet those challenges, we must continue to develop and expand strategic affiliations with other health care organizations that share our vision and values to bring our strengths together to improve outcomes and efficiency in our services and expand training opportunities. We are excited about the opportunities a possible affiliation with St. Vincent could bring.”

A collaboration between two of the state’s premier health systems promises benefits for all Arkansans. The affiliation could lead to expanded opportunities for research, which can be translated to the bedside; increased training and educational opportunities for doctors, nurses and staff; and the ability to attract world-class physi¬cians, nurses and health care professionals to the state.

“Health care is the economic engine for central Arkansas and the state,” said Peter Banko, president and CEO of St. Vincent. “UAMS and St. Vincent have been neighbors for decades with a tremendous amount of cultural compatibility. It is the right thing to do and the right time for us to explore opportunities to improve access across the state, lower costs, enhance quality, train the best and brightest health care professionals, and bring to the bedside cutting-edge treatments and technologies.”

UAMS and St. Vincent have been in discussion for the last several weeks and have been exploring various affil¬iation opportunities. Any alliance that is pursued will preserve UAMS’ public identity and St. Vincent’s Catholic identity, including women’s and reproductive health care services. Entering into a letter of intent will facilitate the ability of UAMS and St. Vincent to review the other’s financial and operational information. This review is conducted under the letter of intent’s nondisclosure agreement, which ensures that each party can share informa¬tion that would otherwise be considered proprietary.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharma¬cy, Health 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 & Neurosci¬ences 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

St. Vincent Health System, founded in 1888, is one of Arkansas’ leading health systems. St. Vincent Infirmary, an acute care facility, licensed for 615 beds, located in Little Rock, serves as the hub of the health system. Other St. Vincent hospitals include St. Vincent North, licensed for 69 beds, in Sherwood; St. Vincent Morrilton, a criti¬cal access hospital in Morrilton, licensed for 25 beds; and St. Vincent West; an outpatient campus in west Little Rock. The system also includes a network of primary care and specialty physician clinics, a home health agen¬cy, a joint venture inpatient rehabilitation facility, and affiliations with more than 650 physicians. Visit

Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 76 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and res¬idential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; two accredited nursing colleges; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2011, CHI provided more than $612 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of more than $10.5 billion, CHI is the nation’s second-largest Catholic health care system. For more information, visit