LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (May 11, 2007) – The Centers for Children in Lowell celebrated its grand opening today as part of a collaborative project of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). The new facility provides developmental and subspecialty medical care to children in northwest Arkansas, provided by physicians from UAMS and ACH.
The center, located in a 40,000-square-foot, two-story building at 519 Latham Drive, houses the Schmieding Developmental Center, the Schmieding KIDS FIRST program and various regional clinics, all previously located in Fayetteville and Springdale.
UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D.; ACH President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Bates, M.D.; and Gov. Mike Beebe helped cut the ribbon with supporters and four children who are served by the center.
“We are very pleased to be able to make subspecialty and developmental care available in one location that will be more convenient for parents,” said Wilson.
“With this new, shared outreach, thousands of families will not have to make the long trip to Little Rock for their child’s initial evaluation or clinic visits for follow-up medical attention,” said Bates.
UAMS broke ground on the new facility March 20, 2006. On Jan. 25, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) Board of Directors and the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved a statewide working collaborative between the UAMS Department of Pediatrics and ACH called Centers for Children that includes the Lowell location.
The programs moved into the new building shortly afterward. The statewide collaborative includes 24 existing clinics throughout the state where services are provided by ACH or the UAMS Department of Pediatrics.
Others who made remarks at the morning ceremony were Debra H. Fiser, M.D., dean of the UAMS College of Medicine, and Lowell Mayor Perry Long, who along with Richard Jacobs, M.D., interim chairman of the UAMS Department of Pediatrics, joined in cutting the ribbon.
Other guests included local pediatricians, community leaders, state and local elected officials and project partners. The celebration included refreshments, guided tours and children’s activities
The collaborative was formed to improve access to pediatric subspecialty care, support education and training of UAMS medical students and residents, and strengthen and expand the regional clinics, also located in El Dorado, Fort Smith, Harrison, Helena/West Helena, Jonesboro, Mountain View and Texarkana.
Nearly 14,000 patients from northwest Arkansas were treated at Arkansas Children’s Hospital during 2006, and this extension of services in Lowell is expected to improve the flow of appointments in Little Rock.
Physicians who are employed by the UAMS Department of Pediatrics but practice at Arkansas Children’s Hospital will commute in large part to the center in Lowell on a rotating basis. Some faculty and other staff members will reside in Lowell or nearby communities. Pediatric subspecialty services offered in Lowell include adolescent medicine, allergy, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, pulmonology and rheumatology.
Schmieding KIDS FIRST is a comprehensive, early-intervention program for infants and young children with medical conditions and developmental delays. UAMS operates 11 KIDS FIRST centers across the state. The Schmieding Developmental Center provides medical and neuropsychological assessments for children with developmental disorders.
The KIDS FIRST program is located on the first floor of the Centers for Children, with the developmental center and regional clinics housed on the second floor. ACH and UAMS will share equally the expenses of the 10-year lease of the building, owned by The Pinnacle Group of Rogers.