|The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock is the only academic health sciences university in the state of Arkansas. We are the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees in 73 of Arkansas’ 75 counties. UAMS and its clinical affiliates, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center, are an economic engine for the state with an annual economic impact of $3.92 billion.
UAMS offers 64 baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, professional and specialist degree programs and certificates through our Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions, Public Health and graduate school. Students attend classes at the UAMS main campus in Little Rock and our regional campus in northwest Arkansas.
Just a few weeks before Thomas Edison invented the first light bulb in October 1879, eight physicians pooled their money and invested $5,000 to start the first medical school in Arkansas. The eight founding physicians were led by Dr. P. O. Hooper of Little Rock, and the street where many patients and visitors now enter the UAMS campus is named in his honor.
The initial investment of $625 made by each of the founding physicians now represents more than $5 billion in economic impact for the state of Arkansas from UAMS and its affiliates every year.
The former Sperindo Restaurant and Hotel in downtown Little Rock served as the first home for what was then known as the Medical Department of Arkansas Industrial University. As enrollment grew into the 20th century, the school was housed in several different locations, including the Old State House in downtown Little Rock. A new medical school was built in the 1930s with funding provided by President Franklin Roosevelt's Public Works Administration. Additional funding was provided by a tax on beer and liquor assessed by the Arkansas state legislature.
In 1951, Governor Sid McMath used funds from a new cigarette tax to secure $7.4 million for a new University Hospital on a 26-acre site on West Markham Street in what was then the outskirts of Little Rock. The University of Arkansas Medical Center moved into the new hospital in 1956. Air conditioning came to patients' rooms 10 years later.
UAMS was transformed from a small medical school with a charity hospital into an academic health center and research leader under the direction of Dr. Harry P. Ward, who served as chancellor from 1979 to 2000. The Harry P. Ward Tower, which opened in 1997, is named in his honor. Dr. Ward was succeeded as chancellor by Dr. I. Dodd Wilson in 2000.
Building on the foundation laid by Dr. Ward, Dr. Wilson began the most ambitious building program in the institution's 125 years of growth. This round of expansion included nearly $500 million in building projects begun in 2001 to provide additional space for education, patient care, research and outreach programs.
Among the projects was an education building opened in 2008 that the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees named the I. Dodd Wilson Education Building in honor of Wilson, who retired in late 2009. Wilson was succeeded by Dr. Dan Rahn.
In early 2009, UAMS opened a new hospital, a 540,000-square-foot facility with 234 adult beds and 60 neonatal beds. This facility enables the people of UAMS to create comfort, hope and healing for more patients and families than ever before.
The new hospital and the adjoining Psychiatric Research Institute will serve as the center of the institution’s now 84-acre campus. Also in 2009, in response to a nationwide shortage of health care professionals, UAMS opened a northwest Arkansas satellite campus in Fayetteville to help produce more physicians, nurses, pharmacist and other health care professionals.
In addition to its state-of-the art hospital and outpatient center, UAMS is home to the: Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions, Public Health and a Graduate School with growing enrollment that included 2,775 students and 748 resident physicians.
Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, which serves as the official cancer research and treatment institution in Arkansas. The Cancer Institute was founded as the Arkansas Cancer Research Center in 1984 and renamed to honor the late lieutenant governor of Arkansas in 2007. A 12-floor expansion is currently under way and scheduled for completion in 2010. The number of patient visits to the Cancer Institute has tripled in the past ten years, and today one-third of the revenue generated by UAMS is from Cancer Institute patient care.
The Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy at UAMS is part of the Cancer Institute and has performed more blood stem cell transplants for myeloma than any other facility in the world. Each year, the Myeloma Institute evaluates about 600 new patients. Seventy percent of these patients are from outside of Arkansas, coming to UAMS from all over the United States and from abroad. On any given day, there are about 200 myeloma patients staying in Little Rock for diagnosis and treatment of their disease.
The Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute was founded in 1994 and houses the Department of Ophthalmology and the Pat & Willard Walker Eye Research Center. Through a nationwide network, the Eye Bank provides the gift of sight to more than 600 patients each year.
The UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute is one of only nine institutions in the country to combine psychiatric research and education with inpatient and outpatient care and is one of the most innovative psychiatric treatment and research facilities in the nation.
The Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute at UAMS is a center for research, education and clinical care related to the spine and features an expansive physical therapy room with special equipment that can measure minute improvements in patients' progress and a wheelchair-accessible swimming pool designed for water therapy.
The Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, home to the UAMS Department of Geriatrics, is one of the most recognized geriatric centers in the nation. The department was established in 1997 and by 2003 was listed in the top 10 geriatrics programs in medical schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Today UAMS has outreach programs operating in every county of the state, including eight Area Health Education Centers, eight regional Centers on Aging and one of the most successful Head Start programs in the nation.
UAMS is where medicine – and excellence – live.
- 2,819 students
- 780 residents
- College of Nursing – 647 students*
- College of Medicine – 647 students*
- College of Health Related Professions – 612 students*
- College of Pharmacy – 482 students*
- College of Public Health – 156 students*
- Graduate School – 275 students*
- * September, 2011
- 1,354 faculty members
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Geriatrics, Primary Care and Nursing master’s programs
- Chronicle of Higher Education ranks Pharmaceutical Sciences program 5th in nation
- UAMS Northwest campus total enrollment 109
- College of Medicine – 19
- College of Pharmacy – 37
- College of Nursing – 28
- College of Health Related Professions – 25