UAMS Health Breaks Ground on New Surgical Hospital on Main Campus

By Ben Boulden

UAMS broke ground April 12 for the construction of a new UAMS Surgical Hospital, shown here in this concept art of how it will look once completed.

UAMS broke ground April 12 for the construction of a new UAMS Surgical Hospital, shown here in this concept art of how it will look once completed.

which is expected to be complete by spring 2023.

The project is being paid for by a bond issue approved this year by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. With four floors providing more than 158,000 square feet in space, the hospital will be an extension of the UAMS Medical Center containing:

  • 24 private patient rooms for overnight observation and inpatient stays.
  • 12 examination rooms for Orthopaedic Trauma, Orthopaedic Oncology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
  • 12 operating rooms in its surgical center.
  • Eight examination rooms and two procedure suites for use by the Pain Management team.
  • Faculty and administrative offices for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
  • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery resident educational space.
UAMS officials and physicians along with honored guests officially break ground on the Surgical Hospital construction project.

UAMS officials and physicians along with honored guests officially break ground on the Surgical Hospital construction project.Image by Evan Lewis

“With the beginning of this exciting new project, UAMS is growing physically to meet the expanding volume of orthopaedic surgeries at UAMS Health,” said UAMS Health CEO and UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “The new hospital will help us to better serve our patients and their families. The need for this space is evidence of the success and the reputation of our orthopaedic surgeons and the overall orthopaedic team in patient care.”

The new building will complement and will not replace the off-campus orthopaedic clinics now in Little Rock.

Chancellor Patterson, left, listens as Stephen Broughton, M.D., speaks. U.S. Rep. French Hill, C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., and Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott also spoke before the groundbreaking.

Chancellor Patterson, left, listens as Stephen Broughton, M.D., speaks. U.S. Rep. French Hill, C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., and Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott also spoke before the groundbreaking.Image by Evan Lewis

“When the construction is complete, it will be a place of healing and innovation in keeping with the tradition of excellence at UAMS,” said C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “Our surgeons, nurses and staff demonstrate every day their great skill and compassion for our patients. We look forward to using this new space and the functionality it will provide to showcase even better that talent and caring.”

In addition to Patterson and Barnes, other dignitaries at the groundbreaking included U.S. Rep. French Hill; state Sen. Clarke Tucker; state Rep. Tippi McCullough; Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott; Little Rock city directors Kathy Webb, Joan Adcock and Antwan Phillips; Pulaski County Justice of the Peace Dist. 4, Julie Blackwood; Jay Chesshir, Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director; John Burgess, Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce chair; Jon Swanson, Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) executive director; Greg Thompson, MEMS; UA System Board of Trustees Ted Dickey and Stephen Broughton, M.D.; Greg Williams, CEO of Nabholz Construction; architect Charley Penix with the Cromwell architecture firm; architect Willie Stokes with the Davis Stokes Collaborative Architects.

The project team consists of architects Cromwell and Davis Stokes Collaborative and general contractor Nabholz Construction.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven 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 and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 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 www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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