UAMS’ Westbrook Receives Distinguished Faculty Service Award

By Ben Boulden

Westbrook, a 1965 UAMS graduate, co-founded what is now the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute in 1984 and served as director for 14 years. He was chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology from 1992 to 2003, when he was promoted to the rank of distinguished professor. He also has been an associate dean and a member of the UAMS Chancellor’s Cabinet.

Westbrook was lauded for accepting the helm during key leadership transitions on campus. He served as interim chair of the Department of Surgery from 1999 to 2002 and as interim vice chancellor for UAMS Development and Alumni Affairs in 2011.

The award was presented at the college’s annual Dean’s Honor Day ceremony, which highlights achievements and contributions of faculty, staff and alumni.

Westbrook was raised in Clarksville, Ark., and attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. After graduating from the UAMS College of Medicine he stayed for his residency in general surgery, serving as chief resident and instructor in 1969-1970. He continued his training with a fellowship in surgical oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston before returning to UAMS as an assistant professor.

Westbrook worked with colleagues throughout much of the 1970s and early 1980s to develop comprehensive cancer programs at UAMS, culminating in the 1984 formation of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center (ACRC), the Cancer Institute’s predecessor.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, 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 & 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 790 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 regional centers throughout the state. Visit or