George and Linda Gleason Foundation Gives $100,000 for UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute, Department of Neurology

By Benjamin Waldrum

The Gleasons were on hand Friday, June 19 to present a check to R. Lee Archer, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurology, and G. Richard Smith, M.D., director of the Psychiatric Research Institute and chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the UAMS College of Medicine

George Gleason has served for over 40 years as chairman and chief executive officer of Bank OZK and its predecessor institutions.

The Gleasons and Smith discuss the significance of the gift to the Psychiatric Research Institute.

The Gleasons and Smith discuss the significance of the gift to the Psychiatric Research Institute.

“The George and Linda Gleason Foundation is very pleased to support the UAMS Department of Neurology and the Psychiatric Research Institute in their delivering world-class care to the citizens of Arkansas,” said George Gleason.

“The men who lead these two units are exceptional physicians and outstanding human beings,” said Linda Gleason. “Dr. Lee Archer and Dr. Richard Smith are well-known for having an unparalleled commitment to personal care and concern for their patients and their teammates.”

A fixture at UAMS for more than 30 years, Archer provides outstanding, nationally recognized care for Arkansans with multiple sclerosis (MS), while teaching and mentoring future neurologists. He has earned the admiration of his patients, students, residents and colleagues.

Archer is a neurologist and professor in the UAMS College of Medicine. He also holds the Major and Ruth Nodini Chair in Neurology, a $1.5 million endowment that supports his clinical care, multiple sclerosis research and educational programs.

“This gift will be used to support our blossoming research efforts in neurology that are directed towards neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis,” said Archer. “We are enormously grateful.”

Smith served as chairman of the Department of Psychiatry from 2001 to 2013, during which he oversaw the design and construction of the Psychiatric Research Institute, which opened in 2008. He was named dean of the UAMS College of Medicine and executive vice chancellor in 2013, a position he held for two years before stepping down to become a professor of psychiatry, medicine and public health. In 2018, he was again named chair of the Department of Psychiatry.

“This generous gift will help us advance our mission of improving mental health for patients and their families through the integration of clinical care, education, and research,” said Smith. “Specifically, these funds will be used to further the groundbreaking work that PRI is doing in its Center for Trauma Prevention, Research and Innovation. Without generous donors like the Gleasons, we could not undertake such important work.”

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.