Kirkpatrick Family Donates $1 Million to Create Endowed Cardiovascular Chair in UAMS College of Medicine

By Benjamin Waldrum

Don and Carolyn Kirkpatrick enjoyed a close relationship with both physicians and volunteers at UAMS and wanted to express their gratitude with a gift that would help advance the world-class cardiology care available at UAMS. J. Paul Mounsey, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, will become the inaugural holder of the Don and Carolyn Kirkpatrick Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine.

“We are grateful to the Kirkpatrick family for their generosity and this highly impactful gift,” said Susan S. Smyth, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of the College of Medicine. “Dr. Mounsey is providing visionary leadership for the UAMS Health Heart Center and our clinical services, cardiovascular education and training, and cardiology research initiatives. This endowment will provide crucial support for him and his outstanding team in all of these areas.”

J. Paul Mounsey

J. Paul Mounsey, M.D., Ph.D., will become the inaugural holder of the Kirkpatrick chair.Bryan Clifton

“Our mission at the UAMS Health Heart Center is to care for all Arkansans with heart disease, and to provide the full range of what is possible to prolong life and relieve symptoms,” said Mounsey. “Our research includes prevention through community intervention for the underserved populations of rural Arkansas and the development of cutting-edge novel treatments for or patients with heart disease. Our efforts will be transformed by this leadership gift from the Kirkpatrick family. I am honored to serve as the inaugural chair holder.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of premature death in the United States, and Arkansas has one of the higher death rates from heart disease, Mounsey said.

Carolyn Kirkpatrick and her late husband, Don, have been dedicated supporters and leaders in the UAMS community. Carolyn Kirkpatrick served for more than a decade as a member of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging Community Advisory Board. She received the Jo Ellen Ford Distinguished Service Award in 2009. Don Kirkpatrick, former owner of Quality Foods, was a stalwart in the Arkansas business community and a leader in the poultry industry. He died in 2003. The Kirkpatricks were married for 47 years and together have four children: Donna K. Isom, Deborah K. Makris, Gina K. Tappan and Don O. Kirkpatrick Jr. Their legacy of business leadership and philanthropy continues.

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.