by Max Brantley
Frank and Jane Lyon have given $1.5 million to the UAMS Institute on Aging for an expansion project.
Jane and Frank Lyon Jr., today donated $1.5 million to the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). The gift gives a significant boost toward the required matching funds for the expansion project.
“We are absolutely delighted and appreciative to receive such a visionary, generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Lyon,” said Jeanne Wei, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Institute on Aging and chair of the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine. “Their generosity will enable us to help our senior Arkansans improve their cardiovascular health.”
The 55,000-square-foot expansion is scheduled for completion in February 2012. Construction is being funded by a $27.9 million Donald W. Reynolds Foundation gift, announced in June 2009. Under terms of the gift, the Institute on Aging can’t move into the new space until it raises $5.6 million to support programs there. With the Lyon gift, the institute moved past the halfway mark at $3.4 million.
Frank Lyon noted that his parents, Frank and Marian, and Jane’s parents, Henry and Helen Thomas, all were beneficiaries of the advanced geriatric care provided at the Reynolds Institute on Aging.
The Lyon and Thomas families’ gratitude led to a $2.5 million gift in 2007 that established the Thomas and Lyon Longevity Clinic.
“The Reynolds Institute on Aging has been invaluable to the quality of life for our family,” Lyon said. “It is my hope that the tremendous care, research and education that it provides will continue to expand on behalf of all Arkansans. We see this donation today as an investment toward that goal.”
Wei, whose medical specialty is geriatrics and cardiovascular disease, said it was fitting that the announcement was made in February, American Heart Month.
“This is truly a gift from the hearts of grateful Arkansans that will support important heart research specifically for aging Arkansans,” Wei said.
She said there are significant differences in the cardiovascular systems of older adults, and treatments must be adapted to their unique physiology.