SHARE Foundation Pledges $1.5 Million for UAMS Regional Campus in El Dorado

By Benjamin Waldrum

The gift will have a far-reaching impact not only for residents of El Dorado but also for patients in south Arkansas and across the state.

“This generous gift represents a significant investment in the future of health care for El Dorado and the surrounding area,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “We are extremely grateful to the SHARE Foundation for this gift, which will benefit countless patients of our future family medicine resident physicians.”

SHARE Foundation’s mission is to identify, develop and foster programs and services that further the health and well-being of the people of El Dorado and surrounding areas. They achieve this mission through eight unique programs: Chaplaincy Services, eXtreme Youth Programs, VIP Grants, HealthWorks Fitness Center, Interfaith Clinic, Life Touch Hospice, Palliative Care of South Arkansas and Scholarships.

“SHARE Foundation is excited to partner with UAMS,” said Steve Cousins, chair of the foundation’s board of directors. “The investment was made to bring doctors and their families here for medical training, economically provide more jobs for our area and ultimately help produce physicians who will live and practice in El Dorado. We believe this is the first step in helping UAMS make a long-term presence in our community, so we can continue to grow medical services and programs in Union County.”

“SHARE Foundation has a responsibility to promote health in Union County,” said Brian Jones, D.H.Sc., the foundation’s president. “It’s our mission. That’s why we believe access to quality health care is extremely important for our community to thrive. We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to what is to come.”

The El Dorado campus represents a joint effort by UAMS and the Medical Center of South Arkansas to increase medical access throughout south Arkansas by training primary care physicians in Union County.

The El Dorado campus will be UAMS’ ninth regional campus. The majority of family practice physicians in rural areas of the state are trained at one of UAMS’ regional campuses. Creating a regional campus in El Dorado will provide an influx of physicians and health care professionals in Union County and south Arkansas to create a sustainable educational and training pipeline and make it easier to maintain consistent levels of care, said Richard Turnage, M.D., vice chancellor for Regional Campuses.

“We know that many physicians choose to practice where they received their residency training, which is one reason UAMS is so committed to our Regional Campuses and our rural residency programs,” said Turnage. “These programs make a real difference in improving health care access throughout the state.”

SHARE Foundation was created in 1996 as a joint venture between Medical Center of South Arkansas and what was previously Triad Hospitals, Inc. Triad was acquired by Community Health Systems in 2007. In 2009, SHARE sold its 50% interest in Medical Center of South Arkansas to Community Health Systems. Primarily an operating foundation, SHARE Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity.

Regional Campuses, originally called Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), began 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. Currently, eight regional campuses are located in Batesville, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Helena-West Helena, Jonesboro, Magnolia, Pine Bluff and Texarkana.

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.