Northeast Arkansas families whose children are seen by these subspecialties will have the benefit of comprehensive care in a comfortable setting right in northeast Arkansas. Those who have had to travel to larger cities like Little Rock or Memphis will be able to avoid longer drives for basic specialty appointments. The new UAMS/ACH Centers for Children location at 520 Carson Street in Jonesboro is already allowing families to seek more comprehensive care closer to home for disorders ranging from extreme headaches and seizures to autism.
The centers' opening marks an expansion of regional services offered by a unique UAMS and ACH collaborative. The first Centers for Children location in Lowell opened in 2007 and quickly grew to include multiple subspecialty services and a primary care clinic. UAMS and ACH are also partners in two dozen individual subspecialty clinics throughout Arkansas.
"We want families to have excellent care available to their children as close to their front doors as possible," said ACH President and CEO Jonathan Bates, MD. "Through the Centers for Children, ACH and UAMS are delivering these specialized services in more familiar environments, which means better outcomes and happier, healthier children."
The collaboration between UAMS and ACH results in a strengthened coordinated system of care for children across the state.
"It's all about the kids," said College of Medicine Dean Debra H. Fiser, MD. "The overriding goal of the UAMS Department of Pediatrics and Arkansas Children's Hospital has always been to improve the health and welfare of children in Arkansas. The Centers for Children in Jonesboro will help us to enhance the health and health care of children in Northeast Arkansas for generations to come."
Familiar faces are also a part of the Centers for Children experience. Northeast Arkansas families have turned to Stephen Bates, MD, for their children's neurology care for several years. He is now seeing patients as part of the UAMS/ACH Centers for Children in Jonesboro. Patients of the Neurology Clinic at the UAMS/ACH Centers for Children in Jonesboro will also be able to undergo EEGs on site that will be read by Dr. Stephen Bates, who is a professor in the UAMS Department of Pediatrics.
In October, the centers will also add a monthly Cardiology Clinic, where children with congenital heart defects will be evaluated and treated. This clinic will be moving from its existing location at The Children's Clinic in Jonesboro.
The institutions expect there will be between 1,500 and 2,000 visits to the neurology and cardiology clinics in the first year at the Centers for Children in Jonesboro. UAMS and ACH plan to offer additional clinics at the Jonesboro campus in the coming months, as well. These additional clinics will be based on volume and feedback from the referring physicians in the region.