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White River Health System, UAMS Announce Agreement

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White River Health System and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on Thursday announced an affiliation agreement.

The organizations said the agreement would allow them to collaborate on clinical trials and research, develop telemedicine together and give WRHS access to e-consults with UAMS specialists. Both will maintain their independence.

UAMS and WRHS said they will also adopt protocols for patient care and specialty referrals.

WRHS Administrator/CEO Gary Bebow said in a news release, “The approximate location of UAMS was considered for north central Arkansas residents who need tertiary level hospital care and, by the affiliation, patients will receive high quality, university-based health care without having to travel outside of Arkansas.”

WRHS will be a clinical education site for UAMS students in the health professions, medical, nursing and pharmacy departments. UAMS will provide access to its library, research and other educational resources. Professional development services such as continuing medical education, presentations and others resources will also be made available to both.

“UAMS and White River Health System share a vision of improving the health of the state’s population,” UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn said in the release. “The new formal affiliation is natural outgrowth of that common goal. At the same time, increased opportunities for UAMS students to gain clinical experience in the community will strengthen their education and improve our state’s future health professions workforce.”

UAMS Spokeswoman Leslie Taylor told Arkansas Business that it has several similar agreements with other health care entities, including Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Hospital, regional campuses around the state and for clinical care at Baptist Health’s campuses in Little Rock and Conway.

She also said UAMS has 800 students completing their residencies at facilities in Arkansas, and that UAMS is part of The Partnership for a Healthy Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Baptist Health, St. Bernards Healthcare and Washington Regional Medical System are also involved in that shared services organization. 

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