Ronnel Family’s $150,000 Gift Completes First Phase of UAMS Medical Center Lobby Gallery

By Ben Boulden

The lobby gallery is a 900-square-foot performance and meeting space with state-of-the-art projection and video conferencing equipment.

“We are grateful for the Ronnel’s continued support of UAMS,” said Roxane Townsend, M.D., vice chancellor for clinical programs and CEO of UAMS Medical Center. “They both have been patients at UAMS and appreciate the importance of UAMS to the people of Arkansas, and we are honored with their continued support.”

The unfinished lobby gallery space was built as part of the UAMS Medical Center’s nine-floor patient tower that opened in 2009. With the Ronnel’s donation, carpeting, drywall, heat and air conditioning, lighting, audio-visual equipment, large screens and video monitors were added to the room. When additional funding is available, the second phase will include a prep area for catering, additional furniture, window treatments, a portable stage and a large doorway that will allow the meeting space to expand into an adjacent gallery for larger events.

“The Ronnel’s gift has enabled us to turn a bare-bones concrete shell space into a wonderful conference center we can use for meetings, presentations, receptions and performances,” Townsend said. “Having this large meeting space for our physicians and health care teams so conveniently located to our hospital patients has been a tremendous asset.”

The Ronnels are recognized for their generous gift with a plaque on a wall inside the lobby gallery.

The Ronnel family’s relationship with UAMS began more than 25 years ago when UAMS physicians saved Lee Ronnel’s leg following a skiing accident. Ronnel since has served as a member and former chairman of the UAMS Foundation Board. He now serves as the UAMS board’s representative and chairman of the University of Arkansas Foundation Board. Dale Ronnel is a member and former chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging Community Advisory Board. The Ronnels also have a named fellowship and a cardiovascular research fund at UAMS.