Ashley County Cares Donations to UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Near $500,000

By Marty Trieschmann

The donation, presented Nov. 18 by Ashley County Cares co-directors Donna Shields and Bernice Nelms to Michael J. Birrer, director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and UAMS vice chancellor, and Ronda Henry-Tillman, M.D., UAMS chief of Breast Oncology, brings the organization’s contribution to the Cancer Institute to nearly half a million dollars.

Ashley County Cares began raising money for the Cancer Institute in 2005 after Shields’ mother was treated for breast cancer at UAMS. At first, the group raised funds by selling T-shirts and holding an annual auction. Now, the nonprofit’s community-wide movement includes a 5K walk and run as well as many other events.

“The contributions of Ashley County Cares since it started in 2005 go well beyond financial support,” said Birrer. “These women are cancer champions and serve as an important source of support for those battling cancer in their communities.”

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.