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February 28, 2006

UAMS Implodes Dorm, Prepares for Hospital Construction

Contractors imploded the 45-year old student dormitory at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Feb. 19 to make room for a major addition to the UAMS Medical Center.

J. Floyd Kyser, M.D., a retired otolaryngologist who graduated from UAMS in 1962, won the right to push a ceremonial plunger, signaling the demolition of the 10-story building at the intersection of Hooper and Shuffield drives on the UAMS campus. Several hundred UAMS officials, invited guests and members of the public cheered the series of bangs that sounded as the roughly 65 pounds of charges placed in 300 locations in the 45-year old building's concrete shell detonated and the 15,000-ton building collapsed in about 15 seconds.

The adjacent Jeff Banks Student Union and nearby Child Study Center will be torn down next and the entire site will be cleared. Construction on the 500,000-square foot hospital addition is expected to begin this summer and be completed in 2008. The hospital addition is part of a $255 million expansion initiative that includes a new psychiatric facility, residence hall and other projects.

"This closes a chapter in UAMS history with the implosion of the dorm that served generations of students, but we open a new, exciting chapter as we prepare for construction of the hospital expansion," said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. "The hospital addition, adjacent Psychiatric Research Institute and other elements of our campus expansion position UAMS to deliver on its patient care, education, research and outreach missions for many years to come."

Kyser, of Little Rock, said he never lived in the dorm while at UAMS but spent the night there with friends and had fond memories of the building. UAMS exceeded its $5,000 goal in bidding for the right to push the plunger.

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Construction crews prepare the student Dorm to be imploded Feb. 19 to make way for a hospital expansion and Psychiatric Research Institute.
The 45-year old student dormitory at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is imploded to make room for a major addition to the UAMS Medical Center.

UAMS Gives Far-Away Families Close-Up View of Babies

UAMS Medical Center has become the first hospital in the state to put Web-based video cameras in its Critical Care Nursery, where newborn infants can be viewed from anywhere parents have Internet access.

Called ANGEL Eye, the pilot program will assign five cameras to infants in the Critical Care Nursery, which is the first stop for infants weighing little more than a pound. The Critical Care Nursery has as many as 10 babies on a given day and the program plans to expand to accommodate all beds in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

"We are excited about adding this feature to UAMS’ nationally recognized ANGELS program," said Whit Hall, M.D, medical director of the UAMS Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery. "Our mission is to reach out statewide to provide health care, and we think the parents and family members of these tiny infants will treasure this new service."

ANGELS is the Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System, a cooperative program between UAMS, the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Arkansas Medical Society to improve regional pre-natal care for high-risk pregnancies. It was created by Curtis Lowery, M.D., a professor in the UAMS College of Medicine's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Lowery said the ANGEL Eye program eventually will become part of a research project on bonding.

"We believe the ability of a mother to see her infant, even from a computer screen 100 miles away, will help her bond with her baby, and it may improve lactation," Lowery said. "This would be an extraordinary benefit to both mother and child."

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LINKS OF INTEREST

Check Out the February HouseCall - Mind Over Matter: Complimentary Treatments Promote Wellness For the Body, Mind And Spirit

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The UAMS Executive Physical Program

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UAMS' Here's to Your Health Radio Broadcasts with Dr. T. Glenn Pait - February programs discuss: Heart Disease , Medical Myths (Part 4) , Diverticulitis and Kidney Stones

Subscribe to UAMS' Here's to Your Health Podcast and Receive Our Weekly Audio Broadcast Over the Internet

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