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Central Arkansas Enjoys a Healthy Outlook

From large health systems to specialty providers, Central Arkansas offers quality care

By Laura Hill on April 23, 2018

Little Rock, AR
Little Rock / Courtesy of Hendrix College/Bob Handelman

Whether they’re experiencing major medical issues or just need an annual checkup, Central Arkansas residents can rely on top-rated medical care.

The region benefits from major health-care systems, a university medical complex, a host of specialty providers and cutting-edge advancements that will continue to enhance care in the years ahead.

Three Central Arkansas health systems– Baptist Health Systems, Conway Regional Health Services and CHI St. Vincent – log thousands of hospital and clinic visits annually, offering a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services and a commitment to community welfare.

Health Systems

In Central Arkansas, Baptist Health operates its flagship 827-bed Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock as well as a facility in Conway, as well as a retirement community with an Alzheimer’s treatment facility, and two nursing care facilities. Baptist was the first hospital in the state to perform open heart surgery, a heart transplant and a total artificial heart implant. Baptist also focuses on fostering community health through education with such programs as diabetes and weight loss management.

“We are a faith-based, not-for-profit healing ministry – which means we will always focus on our values, the people we serve, and the well-being of our community,” says Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “For 2018, our focus remains on serving people, improving our workforce and establishing meaningful partnerships that bring value to the people we serve.”

CHI St. Vincent, also a faith-based health system, operates several hospitals in the region as well as primary care, cardiology and other specialty facilities around the state. In 2017 its 600-bed CHI St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock was named the No. 1 hospital in the state for the fifth consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report. CHI St. Vincent, founded in 1888, offers a vast range of medical services, from preventive care and home health to cancer, cardiology, orthopedic and neurosciences, as well as emergency and urgent care.

Conway Regional Health System provides comprehensive care centered on a 150-bed acute care center. Services include cardiovascular, neuro spine and orthopedic surgery, cancer treatment, women’s services and rehabilitation services. Conway Regional also includes Conway Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, a home health agency, an all-digital outpatient imaging center, an outpatient surgery center, senior mental health services, eight primary care clinics, an after-hours clinic and a hospital-owned fitness center.

“Conway Regional Health System is continuing to add services to an extensive list,” says Conway Regional spokesperson John Patton. “In 2017, we added a neurosciences center that includes neuro spinal surgery, a sports medicine program, a sleep center and a pain management center. Conway Regional will continue to add services to improve how we care for communities.“

Research Leader

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) leads the way in dozens of areas. The only academic medical center in the state, UAMS is the largest employer in Arkansas, and has an annual economic impact of $4.5 billion.

The university includes schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health and health professions. Its 500-bed hospital in Little Rock is the only Level I trauma center in Arkansas. UAMS also operates a network of community-based facilities that offer primary care, health education and services such as Head Start programs and senior care. UAMS offers the state’s only adult spina bifida, sickle cell and cystic fibrosis treatment centers, the only facility for the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), the only liver and bone marrow transplant programs in the state, and the only program for high-risk pregnancies.

Affiliated with UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in Arkansas exclusively dedicated to the medical care of children from birth to 21 years of age. The Little Rock hospital has developed a national reputation for its breakthrough advancements in pediatric treatments and programs, and is a leading research center.

The area’s medical care is also enriched by specialty facilities and programs. Arkansas Heart Hospital is highly regarded for its hospital in Little Rock and a network of clinics around the region. Also caring for patients are behavioral and mental health facilities, including Acadia Healthcare’s new 65,000-square-foot Conway Behavioral Health Hospital, which opened in 2017 and offers inpatient and outpatient care.

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