The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation committed $2 million to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Thursday (Sept. 7).
The gift will support construction of the $85 million UAMS Health Orthopaedics & Sports Performance Center in Springdale which is scheduled to open in summer 2025.
“The Walker Foundation has been instrumental in the growth of Northwest Arkansas, and we are grateful that this support has been extended to UAMS’ operations in the area,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “Willard and Pat Walker were amazing people, and their legacy of leadership and philanthropy will continue to inspire UAMS’ mission for many years to come.”
UAMS is the exclusive orthopaedics and sports medicine provider for Razorback Athletics, and the 115,000 sq. ft. facility will provide specialized care for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville’s student-athletes.
The facility will also combine the services provided at the two existing UAMS orthopaedic facilities in Fayetteville and Lowell in one central location and also will add services not currently available.
“For nearly 40 years, the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation has been a leader in identifying, supporting and encouraging collaborative projects across Northwest Arkansas and throughout our region,” said Hunter Yurachek, vice chancellor and director of Razorback Athletics. “Thanks to this new state-of-the-art facility, our student-athletes will receive the very best care, from the very best clinicians, all right here at home. We deeply appreciate the Walker Foundation for being part of the efforts to make this happen.”
The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation supports charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational endeavors in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.
“While a student at the University of Arkansas, working as a Diamond Doll for the Arkansas Razorback Baseball team, I saw the high physical demands placed on our student-athletes who required constant specialized care so that they could perform at a high-level week in, week out,” said Mandy Macke, executive director of the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. “The Walker Foundation has a long history with both UAMS and Razorback Athletics, and we are honored that we can support this collaboration so that our student-athletes have the care that they require to keep performing at a high level.”