“A child clinic in a mall — whoever heard of such a thing!” It’s true! The UAMS Kids First clinic in Newport proves that it can be done. But first, the enthusiastic Jackson County Industrial Developer showed the UAMS Kids First advance team the former train station, the vacant movie house, and a long-gone grocery store, but all proved to be unsatisfactory space. Then came the unlikely mall suggestion, which with suitable renovation, would do just fine. Well, the playground was a bit of a challenge but with some fencing and soft ground cover, the former parking lot was transformed.
The decision to locate in Jackson County was made after learning that the county had no clinic-based child health services available and the city of Newport seemed the ideal central location.
An initial community meeting proved interesting with lots of support shown. One person seemingly against the concept eventually changed her mind and came to work for the program. The clinic opened to enthusiastic reviews and one community volunteer offered to paint a mural in the playroom.
The clinic moved to its currently location designed especially for UAMS Kids First in August 2006. This larger and more spacious building will allow the clinic to serve up to 56 children and employ more than 25 staff and contractors.
UAMS Kids First in Newport works in cooperation with local, area and state colleges to provide observation and training to nursing, early childhood and special education students.
221 Lindley Lane
Newport, AR 72112
Clinic Director: Sharron Emery, BA