The Walmart Foundation is giving $435,000 to a new education center at the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

UAMS officials first announced Jan. 17 plans to construct an 8,000-square-foot Student Clinical Education Center at its Fayetteville facility. The project is made possible thanks to a $1.5 million gift from the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. The Walker family’s support of UAMS totals more $48 million in gifts over the past three decades.

The Northwest campus opened in 2009 and had a fall enrollment of 135 students in 2011. The school is expected to grow its enrollment to between 250-300 students pursuing advanced degrees in the medical sciences.

The center will be located on the first floor of the UAMS campus at the intersection of North Street and College Avenue in Fayetteville. Construction is expected to begin within the next month with completion slated for early 2013, in time for the next class of future doctors, pharmacists and nurses.

The Walmart Foundation grant will fund an academic specialty clinic where physician specialists will see patients while also teaching students, according to the UAMS statement. Hands-on, supervised clinical training is a critical component of the medical, nursing, pharmacy and allied health programs on the campus.
The clinic will use 5,800 square feet of existing space adjacent to the library and Student Clinical Education Center. It is expected to open by the end of 2012.

“This clinic expands the range of clinical experiences our students will have on campus,” Dr. Peter Kohler, vice chancellor for UAMS Northwest Arkansas Region, noted in the statement. “The continued support from the Walmart Foundation has been a major factor in assembling this campus as a catalyst for producing health care professionals who will improve health and health care in Arkansas.”

Support of the regional campus from the Walmart Foundation surpassed $2 million with Thursday’s announcement. In 2010, the foundation awarded a $650,000 grant for interactive video equipment and information technology resources in a computer lab and classrooms. In 2009, a $1 million grant funded renovations to the first floor of the former Washington Regional Medical Center hospital that houses the campus.

The clinic will accommodate a wide range of specialists such as endocrinologists/internists, prosthetic surgeons, orthopedics and even dental practices.

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.



Filed under EDUCATION


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