The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) broke ground Friday (Sept. 15) on the UAMS Health Orthopedics & Sports Performance Center in Springdale. The 31-acre site is situated south of Arkansas Children’s Northwest, west of Interstate 49.
The 115,000-square-foot center will be the latest addition to an area the Springdale Chamber of Commerce has dubbed the Springdale Care Corridor. It’s a four-mile stretch of I-49 that includes a dozen healthcare providers.
The UA System board of trustees approved the Springdale project in March 2021. Later that year, the board approved a $109.6 million bond issue to cover the project cost. The UA paid $13.58 million in late 2021 for 31.2 acres at the southeast corner of Watkins Avenue and Gene George Boulevard.
According to a news release, an interdisciplinary team of surgeons and rehab specialists has been providing specialty care at UAMS orthopedics and sports medicine clinics in Fayetteville and Lowell for several years and serving as the official sports medicine provider for all of the University of Arkansas athletic programs.
The new facility will be the home for all UAMS Health orthopedic clinics in Northwest Arkansas, as well as sports performance, therapy and MRI. It will include 20 exam rooms, up to six operating rooms and eight outpatient recovery beds where patients can stay up to 23 hours if needed.
Completion is expected in 2025. Marlon Blackwell Architects of Fayetteville designed the two-story building with input from Davis Stokes Collaborative Architects P.C. Nabholz Construction of Conway is the general contractor.
“The UAMS Health Orthopedics and Sports Performance Center will be unique,” said Dr. Wes Cox, section chief of UAMS Health’s orthopedics and sports medicine team in Northwest Arkansas. “We worked closely with the architects to create a healthcare space that is both welcoming and health-inducing. Our mission is to serve the community in Northwest Arkansas with a world-class, iconic destination for sports medicine and orthopedics by elevating expectations through innovations and healing.”
Designed with a focus on wellness, recovery and healing, the facility will offer a wide range of orthopedic procedures, allowing for more personalized, efficient and effective care.
According to UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, the center’s goal is to serve patients in Northwest Arkansas and beyond.
“I suspect we will see patients from all over the country come to Northwest Arkansas to get their care here,” Patterson said. “Our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists are already highly regarded nationally and internationally. With an abundance of destination health care providers, this reputation will continue to grow.”
Headquartered in Little Rock, UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic medical center. It established a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in 2007 in the former 323,510-square-foot Washington Regional Medical Center on College Avenue in Fayetteville.
The UAMS Northwest Regional Campus includes 329 medical, pharmacy, nursing and health professions students, 66 medical and pharmacy residents, and two sports medicine fellows. The campus has nine clinics, including a student-led clinic, orthopedics and sports medicine, and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Faculty conduct research to reduce health disparities.
“This facility will be an invaluable addition to Northwest Arkansas,” said Amy Wenger, vice chancellor of the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. “The center will be much more than a destination for sports care. It will be a destination for everyone to receive comprehensive, high-quality and cost-efficient subspecialty orthopedic care, including joint replacement, spine care, hand care, foot and ankle care, and more.”