Baptist Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Announce Alliance

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Baptist Health and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have announced a statement of strategic intent,  which reflects the two health care organizations’ commitment to offer a wider range of educational opportunities and deliver clinical care more efficiently.

The alliance will strengthen the two institutions’ collective ability to improve population health and care delivery across the state. This alliance is not a merger, as both institutions will retain their separate and unique organizational identities. The alliance and its components will be presented to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and the Baptist Health Board of Trustees for approval.

“Arkansas faces a wide range of significant health challenges, including obesity, cancer, heart disease, mental health and premature death,” said UAMS Interim Chancellor Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D. “Through this enhanced alliance, UAMS and Baptist Health can better help address those challenges to improve the health and well-being of Arkansans.”

UAMS and Baptist Health are Arkansas-based organizations that share a vision of delivering exceptional clinical care and have executive leadership teams that are committed to this alliance.

“Collaboration is the key strength which will enable organizations like Baptist Health and UAMS to serve more Arkansans,” said Baptist Health CEO Troy Wells. “The value of this alliance will be our collective efforts to improve health in a more deliberate manner to serve the needs of diverse communities.”

The two organizations have worked together successfully and will be able to build on their ongoing experience of serving patients through multiple joint initiatives that include physical medicine and rehabilitation (early 1980s), vascular surgery (2013), maternal-fetal medicine (2017), and antimicrobial stewardship (2017), as well as emergency medicine and orthopaedics at Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway (2017).

In the education field, UAMS and Baptist Health will increase the number of students and other trainees by creating broader opportunities for teaching and learning. In the area of graduate medical education, Baptist Health and UAMS intend to launch new physician residency programs, beginning with internal and family medicine at the Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock campus.

In the area of clinical services and population health management, the two institutions are evaluating ways to maximize existing and new resources to enhance health care quality, safety, service and access while reducing costs.

The newly formed Baptist Health/UAMS Accountable Care Alliance will coordinate effective, high-quality care for patients receiving Medicare, initially caring for 50,000 Arkansans starting in 2018. The alliance will work with Medicare to make sure health care providers have a more complete picture of a patient’s health to deliver the right care at the right time and avoid unnecessarily duplicating medical tests.

UAMS and Baptist Health also have been in discussions with Arkansas Children’s, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Bost Inc. about forming Arkansas Advanced Care to serve Arkansas Medicaid recipients with behavioral health and/or developmental disability needs. This year, the Arkansas Legislature established the Provider-owned Arkansas Shared Savings Entity (PASSE), a new approach to managing Medicaid costs for eligible individuals with behavioral health and developmental disability health issues.

Arkansas Advanced Care would be a PASSE organization that would seek to work with the state of Arkansas to provide more efficient care and improve health and quality of life for these patients. Establishment of this PASSE organization is also contingent on approval from the UA Board of Trustees and the Baptist Health Board.

With more than 175 points of access, Baptist Health is an Arkansas-based, locally owned and managed, not-for-profit, and faith-based health care organization. Baptist Health is also Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization and third largest private employer with more than 9,100 employees operating nine hospitals. For more information about Baptist Health, visit the website at

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,870 students, 799 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS and its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.


Statement of Strategic Intent

August 2017

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Baptist Health share a common heritage and commitment to deliver to Arkansans exceptional clinical care and service for an affordable price. In recent years, we have built trust and respect between our organizations by working together to improve care delivery across a number of clinical services. Our work together has confirmed our ability to strengthen the quality, breadth and cost efficiency of our clinical programs for the benefit of those we serve. These early successes motivate us to explore where we might take our collaboration to a new level to deliver to our constituents a broader range of benefits across our patient care, educational and community service missions.

This statement of strategic intent reflects Baptist Health’s and UAMS’ commitment to work together to offer a wider range of educational opportunities and to deliver clinical care more efficiently and effectively than either institution can do on its own. Our goal is to work together and with like-minded organizations to strengthen our ability to improve health status and care delivery across the state. As our work continues, we will share with our colleagues and those we serve added information about our plans to realize that vision.

While maintaining our identities as separate institutions, Baptist Health and UAMS commit to work together in the future across a broader range of academic and clinical fronts for the benefit of all Arkansans. Our common goal is to offer enhanced clinical programs to patients and broader educational opportunities to our learners – supported by advanced technologies, a highly skilled workforce, and sophisticated patient education and care coordination capabilities. Working together, we will collaborate to promote responsible stewardship of public resources, foster economic development, and lead in the development of coordinated systems of care that advance our common health-promotion and illness-prevention goals.

Our future activities will build upon what we have learned from a number of specific initiatives through which UAMS and Baptist Health collaborate to serve patients today. These shared efforts include: Maternal Fetal Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vascular Surgery, eICU, Telehealth, and an Antimicrobial Stewardship program, as well as Emergency Medicine and Orthopedics at Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway. These collaborative initiatives have demonstrated a variety of benefits to our patients and the communities we serve.

In the education arena, UAMS and Baptist Health seek to grow the number of students and other trainees by creating broader opportunities for teaching and learning.  Already, our institutions are involved in the education of over 4,000 health care learners each year. Experience indicates learners trained in Arkansas are far more likely to build their careers here. Whether it’s a matter of meeting the educational needs of more Arkansans or attracting additional students from outside the state, our work together should enhance the state’s ability to attract, train and retain the best possible candidates.  Through our collaborative efforts, Arkansans who seek to enter or expand their role in in the health care workforce will find a greater range of educational options available to them than either UAMS or Baptist Health could create on its own. We anticipate that several collaborative educational activities may emerge over time.

In the clinical services arena, Baptist Health and UAMS are discussing ways to deploy existing and new resources to enhance health care quality, safety, service and access while identifying opportunities to reduce costs and deliver value back to the community. In so doing, we will prepare our organizations and care delivery partners to thrive in the transformation from fee-for-service medicine to value-based health care. Our state faces considerable health challenges; by working together, we can have a greater impact in helping Arkansans lead longer, healthier lives.