George and Linda Gleason Foundation Gives $100,000 for UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute, Department of Neurology

Health News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) — The George and Linda Gleason Foundation has given $100,000 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), split evenly among the Department of Neurology in the College of Medicine and the Psychiatric Research Institute.

The Gleasons were on hand Friday, June 19 to present a check to R. Lee Archer, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurology, and G. Richard Smith, M.D., director of the Psychiatric Research Institute and chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the UAMS College of Medicine

George Gleason has served for over 40 years as chairman and chief executive officer of Bank OZK and its predecessor institutions.

“The George and Linda Gleason Foundation is very pleased to support the UAMS Department of Neurology and the Psychiatric Research Institute in their delivering world-class care to the citizens of Arkansas,” said George Gleason.

“The men who lead these two units are exceptional physicians and outstanding human beings,” said Linda Gleason. “Dr. Lee Archer and Dr. Richard Smith are well-known for having an unparalleled commitment to personal care and concern for their patients and their teammates.”

A fixture at UAMS for more than 30 years, Archer provides outstanding, nationally recognized care for Arkansans with multiple sclerosis (MS), while teaching and mentoring future neurologists. He has earned the admiration of his patients, students, residents and colleagues.

Archer is a neurologist and professor in the UAMS College of Medicine. He also holds the Major and Ruth Nodini Chair in Neurology, a $1.5 million endowment that supports his clinical care, multiple sclerosis research and educational programs.

“This gift will be used to support our blossoming research efforts in neurology that are directed towards neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis,” said Archer. “We are enormously grateful.”

Smith served as chairman of the Department of Psychiatry from 2001 to 2013, during which he oversaw the design and construction of the Psychiatric Research Institute, which opened in 2008. He was named dean of the UAMS College of Medicine and executive vice chancellor in 2013, a position he held for two years before stepping down to become a professor of psychiatry, medicine and public health. In 2018, he was again named chair of the Department of Psychiatry.

“This generous gift will help us advance our mission of improving mental health for patients and their families through the integration of clinical care, education, and research,” said Smith. “Specifically, these funds will be used to further the groundbreaking work that PRI is doing in its Center for Trauma Prevention, Research and Innovation. Without generous donors like the Gleasons, we could not undertake such important work.”

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