UAMS Unveils $130 Million Cancer Institute Expansion

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jul. 12, 2010 12:00 am  

Dr. Peter Emanuel, the executive director of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences? Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, said he hopes the center becomes a world leader in the treatment of six to eight cancers.

"So we argued three years ago that we wanted to go ahead and build the entire 12-story shell to start with, knowing that we wouldn't complete it," Emanuel said.

To help pay for the building, in 2007 the Arkansas Legislature approved creating a $36 million fund to provide a dollar-for-dollar match of private donations for the expansion project.

Emanuel said about $40 million in private donations was raised and that money was used to collect the $36 million from the state of Arkansas.

Other money for the project, which includes the renovation of the Walker Tower, came from federal grants and money from $35 million worth of bonds that will be paid for with the state's portion from the 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry.

In January, the National Institutes of Health awarded a $10.5 million grant to the Cancer Institute for the completion of two research lab floors, which are expected to be completed in 2011.

It's unclear how much more it will cost to operate the expanded Cancer Institute, because the UAMS budget doesn't separate it, said UAMS spokeswoman Andrea Peel. But it will be paid for with donations, state and federal funds and grants, she said.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009, UAMS had a net loss of $43.1 million, although the CFO, Melony Goodhand, had told Arkansas Business that using earmarked capital gifts, the institution had a "positive bottom line" of $4 million.

In February, Dr. Daniel Rahn, the UAMS chancellor, hired a consulting firm to help improve the campus' hospital unit. Navigant Consulting Inc. of Chicago came back with a recent report that said it could add more than $40 million to the hospital's bottom line.

The consultant's recommendation to save money could take place during the next 12 to 18 months.


Design Plans

The Cancer Institute called on the architecture firms Cromwell Architects Engineers Inc. of Little Rock and FKP Architects of Houston to create plans for the project.



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