UAMS, Baptist Health Could Partner Up on Oncologists


UAMS, Baptist Health Could Partner Up on Oncologists
An MRI room at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute (Daniel Moody)

Did you know an alliance is in the works between the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Baptist Health of Little Rock involving oncology doctors?

Under the proposed agreement, UAMS would supply Baptist with medical oncologists, who would remain UAMS employees.

If the alliance comes together, an announcement is expected in the next few weeks.

As you know, UAMS’ Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute is working to reach its goal of achieving National Cancer Institute designation, which would bring to UAMS clinical trials and therapies not currently available in Arkansas. And UAMS has said getting the designation would mean a $72 million economic impact in Arkansas and about 1,500 new jobs over five years.

One of the criteria for getting the designation, though, is showing community outreach in all four corners of the state. The Cancer Institute needs to demonstrate to the NCI that it has functioning clinics around the state, which it doesn’t currently have.

But Baptist Health, which is the largest health care provider in Arkansas, has more than 100 clinics in Arkansas.

“We are constantly analyzing additional ways for Baptist Health and UAMS, which are the two largest health care systems in the state, to improve services for Arkansans through a coordination of efforts,” Doug Weeks, executive vice president and chief of strategy for Baptist Health, said in a statement to Whispers.

He also said that Baptist Health and UAMS are involved in a number of partnerships “to improve the health of our communities and provide more access to care.” Some of the examples include vascular surgery, thoracic surgery, maternal/fetal medicine, cardiovascular surgery, and a physician residency program that is designed to attract more physicians to Arkansas.