Simmons Bank Donates $25,000 to El Dorado UAMS Regional Campus

By Benjamin Waldrum

“The arrival of the UAMS regional campus in El Dorado will represent a very special moment for our community, bringing benefits that range from enhanced medical services and education to boosted economic opportunity,” said Rob Robinson, Simmons Bank’s El Dorado community president. “We at Simmons feel honored to support a program that will positively impact so many individuals and families.”

The UAMS regional campus in El Dorado hopes to open its clinic in January 2022 and begin training medical college graduates to become family medicine residents by July 2023.

“I am very thankful to Simmons Bank for this investment to improve health care in El Dorado,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “Community partnerships like these are essential to increasing access to health care across the state. We are looking forward to establishing a new regional campus in El Dorado.”

UAMS has committed to building its ninth regional campus in El Dorado. The majority of family practice physicians in rural areas of the state are trained at one of UAMS’ eight regional campuses. Creating a regional campus will provide an influx of physicians and health care professionals to create a sustainable educational and training pipeline and make it easier to maintain consistent levels of care.

Regional Campuses, originally called Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), was started in 1973 through the efforts of then-Gov. Dale Bumpers, the Arkansas Legislature and UAMS to train medical residents and provide clinical care and health education services around the state. Its eight regional campuses are located in Batesville, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Helena-West Helena, Jonesboro, Magnolia, Pine Bluff and Texarkana. UAMS is working to expand the number of campuses across the state.

Simmons’ donation to the UAMS Regional Program follows on the heels of its $1 million gift to support the Jefferson County Health Unit and the Veteran’s Services Office earlier this month and a $1 million gift to Arkansas Children’s in May to support construction of a new pediatric clinic in Pine Bluff.