Dear UAMS Family,As Leslie Peacock reported yesterday, the cuts include defunding the UAMS Office of Global Health. UAMS earlier discontinued the PSYCH TLC program, which provided consultation for Arkansas primary care providers who had pediatric patients with mental health needs, after the Department of Human Services pulled $500,000 in funding.
As I said in our December Town Hall meeting, we must cut in excess of $30 million in expenses this current fiscal year to comply with our budget as approved by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. UAMS has had financial challenges for many years and we have always made up for any shortfall by using our reserve funds. However, we are depleting our resources and we cannot continue to do that and sustain UAMS into the future.
Over the last several weeks, UAMS leadership has been conducting a comprehensive review of all areas of UAMS to identify cost savings and make adjustments. However, personnel is our largest expense and we have come to the extremely painful realization that we can’t meet our budget without also eliminating jobs. We have no choice but to reduce our workforce by almost 600 positions. We have made every effort to cut unfilled positions where possible, but 258 of the affected positions are currently occupied. The employees whose jobs are being eliminated are being notified today. Human Resources representatives will also be reaching out to them to provide services to assist them in finding other jobs.
I have been at UAMS for more than 26 years. This is an extremely sad day and the first major reduction in force that I can remember. This is not an action that anyone is taking lightly and it is not being undertaken because of performance issues but simply because we do not have the money to fund everything we have in the past. We must all support each other and especially those colleagues who are leaving us. We are very grateful to them for their many years of service to UAMS and our state.
Stephanie Gardner, Pharm. D., Ed.D.
UAMS physicians provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center, and clinics throughout the state. UAMS’ colleges produce the majority of physicians, pharmacists, researchers, nurses and other health professionals practicing in Arkansas, and it partners with other providers and state and federal agencies to staff and manage programs where there is a need. However, UAMS, unlike other state universities, does not receive the majority of its funding from the state. It is dependent on its hospital and clinics to cross-subsidize its research and education missions and provide 77% of its funding.