UAMS, Washington Regional Medical Center Host Investiture for Randy Shinn in Pat Walker Distinguished Chair in Senior Health

By David Wise

An endowed chair is among the highest academic honors a university can bestow on a faculty member. A distinguished chair is established with gifts of at least $1.5 million, which are invested and the interest proceeds used to support the educational, research and clinical activities of the chair holder. Those named to a chair are among the most highly regarded scientists, physicians and professors in their fields.

“These endowed positions are made possible by the generosity of donors who share a vision and a passion for making a difference in our world, for helping others and for relentlessly pursuing excellence,” said Jeanne Wei, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Reynolds Department of Geriatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine and executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.

“Today, the Walker Charitable Foundation continues to build a tradition of health and hope, thanks to the legacy built by Pat and Willard Walker through their selfless generosity and their vision to serve and help others,” Wei said.

In 2017, the Walker Charitable Foundation created the Pat Walker Distinguished Chair in Senior Health with a gift of $1.5 million. The endowment supports the UAMS Department of Geriatrics’ programs in senior health care and education.

The distinguished chair is named for the late Pat Walker of Springdale, who, along with her late husband Willard J. Walker, carried on a tradition of philanthropy during their lifetime and beyond as they focused on improving the quality of life, health and education in Arkansas. Proof of that commitment can be found on the numerous facilities at schools, hospitals and universities across the state that bear their names.

“UAMS is proud to celebrate Dr. Randy Shinn as the Pat Walker Distinguished Chair in Senior Health,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “Dr. Shinn serves a vital role as a physician leader in Northwest Arkansas and his unyielding commitment to providing world-class care for our seniors is an inspiration to all.”

“This distinguished chair is a well-earned honor for Dr. Shinn, who for over two decades has led the charge in providing seniors in our region with the best, most comprehensive primary care possible,” said Larry Shackelford, CPA, FAMCPE, president and CEO of Washington Regional Medical System. “We are proud that he is an integral part of the Washington Regional team of providers.”

“I am incredibly humbled by this honor,” Shinn said. “This endowed chair will allow our geriatric teams to continue to pursue innovative ideas, programs and projects to move the needle on senior health. I want to express my gratitude to the Walker Charitable Foundation for their continuing efforts to advance care for seniors in Arkansas.”

Shinn graduated from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1995 and has been in practice for 24 years. He completed his internal medicine residency training at the University of Utah in 1998 and a geriatric fellowship at UAMS in 1999. He is board certified in internal medicine-geriatrics.

Shinn is medical director of the Washington Regional Senior Clinic at the UAMS Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education in Springdale. He has held the position of medical director for multiple entities, including the Washington Region Senior Health Center, Butterfield Trail Nursing Facility, the Senior Specialty Unit, and the Mobile Interdisciplinary Transitions Team. He has served on numerous advisory committees, including Faith in Action, Age Friendly Fayetteville, Pharmacy and Therapeutics (chairman), Physician Peer Review, NICHE steering committee (chairman), and as the Medicine Department chair at Northwest Medical Center. Shinn also serves as the attending physician for the geriatric rotation for medical students, residents, and APRN and PA students. He gives numerous public presentations on such topics as healthy aging, memory loss, medications, falls and prevention, and immunizations.

Shinn Investiture

Dr. Shinn invited everyone in attendance to sign the chair.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.