Chancellor Looks Back at First 90 Days, Lays Out Vision for Future

By Yavonda Chase

“In 90 days, we have accomplished so much for UAMS and the patients and families we serve,” he said. “I am so proud to be a member of Team UAMS.”

Watch the Town Hall:

Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, gets his flu shot during his Sept. 17 Town Hall meeting.

Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, gets his flu shot during his Sept. 17 Town Hall meeting.


Patterson announced that UAMS had submitted a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019 to the UA System Board of Trustees. He also said UAMS ended Fiscal Year 2018 on June 30 with a $16 million deficit — less than the $70 million one predicted last fall or the $39 million deficit projected in the 2018 budget.

“The budget we submitted is the first balanced budget that UAMS has had in more than five years,” said Patterson. “That’s going to put us in the position to do a lot of important work, including creating programs that will dramatically impact Arkansans and ensuring that we are recruiting the very best caliber team members that we can.”

Patterson said it is his goal to ensure that everyone working at UAMS has a living wage, and that UAMS has competitive marketplace salaries.

He said achieving National Cancer Institutes (NCI) designation is one of his major goals because of what it would mean for the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and Arkansas. NCI designation would bring cancer research and therapies to UAMS patients that are unavailable in Arkansas. Only 70 centers in the country have NCI designation, so achieving the status would put UAMS in the top tier of cancer treatment and research.

Patterson applauded the efforts of the UAMS stroke team for becoming the first and only hospital in the state certified by the Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center — an extraordinary accomplishment he said will save lives across Arkansas.

Other members of senior leadership gave brief presentations during the Town Hall.

Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., is leading the effort to create the next 10-year plan for UAMS, a successor to Vision 20/20. It will cover 2019-2029, which coincides with the 150th anniversary of UAMS in 2029.

“A steering committee was appointed by the chancellor and tasked with creating a plan that is both aspirational and realistic,” she said.

Premier Consultants and the Human Resources Office of Strategy Management are conducting interviews, both internally and externally, to gather data, which will then be used to create the plan.

Rebecca Hulsey, R.N., asks the chancellor a question during the Town Hall.

Rebecca Hulsey, R.N., asks the chancellor a question during the Town Hall.

In December, a two-day retreat will be held to review the information gathered and make decisions on the plan’s outline. The goal is to unveil the plan in June 2019, Gardner said.

Jeff Risinger, vice chancellor of human resources, discussed the results of the Employment Engagement Survey.

More than 65 percent of employees filled out the survey, which was administered by Advisory Board Survey Solutions. Survey results were divided into four areas for analysis: overall results; those from leadership, which included 600 physicians; front-line employees; and nurses.

According to the survey results, the engagement mean score for all employees was 4.74, which is a content employee, or one who is a solid contributor who is satisfied with his/her job and the organization but lacks emotional commitment to the organization.

“This idea of engagement goes so far beyond employee satisfaction,” Risinger said. “It is a very high standard and that is the path that has been set by Dr. Patterson.”

Christina Clark, the chancellor’s chief of staff, shared plans to boost employee engagement, including an institution-wide holiday party.

Also during the Town Hall, Patterson received his flu shot. A clinic was set up in the 12th floor atrium for employees to get their required flu shots. Flu shot clinics will be held regularly through Nov. 14, by which time all employees, students and non-employees (contractors, volunteers, etc.) must have their flu shots or a medical or religious exemption.

For the past few weeks, employees were encouraged to submit suggestions for employee engagement or comments about efforts that have already been taken. These employees were entered into a drawing for tickets to an Arlo Guthrie concert or subscriptions to the Oxford American magazine. The chancellor drew the winners during his presentation.

The winners for the concert tickets were:

  • Ruth Eudy
  • Stacey Thompson
  • Amy Buckley
  • Karen Call
  • Ben Jackson
  • Martha Anne Robbins
  • Amy Widner
  • Beth Seward
  • Sydney Rephan

Ten employees received subscriptions to the Oxford American:

  • Oleg Karaduta
  • Lindsey Clark
  • Amy Roberts
  • Lacie Burch
  • Leanne Lefler
  • Brian Rose
  • Nathan Johnson
  • Chuck Hay
  • Bill Waldron
  • Tiffany Lepard