Jan. 27, 2009 | The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Psychiatric Research Institute-Northwest has added two members to the staff of the soon-to-open facility.
Michael Hollomon, M.D., an associate professor in UAMS’ College of Medicine, recently took the position of medical director after serving the past six years as medical director of psychiatric services at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. Judy Smith, a licensed clinical social worker, joined the institute as clinical manager in December with more than 10 years of experience as a clinical social worker and program manager in Connecticut.
A Texas native, Hollomon worked in the emergency room at Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home after two years in private practice in Jasper. Hollomon’s years in the emergency room taught him many things.
“There were many conditions that I couldn’t take care of by prescribing antibiotics or stitching with sutures,” Hollomon said. “I was looking for a specialty that I could practice as long as I was physically able. I was drawn to psychiatry because it is a very intellectual field where you are able to develop a more long-term therapeutic connection with your patients.”
With that in mind, Hollomon decided to go back and train in psychiatry. After a three-year residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, he was certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, returning to the state as an inpatient psychiatrist at Northwest Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. He moved to Washington Regional when Northwest Regional’s psychiatric unit closed in 2002.
Smith is seeing patients at the UAMS Area Health Education Center in Fayetteville and will move to the new institute offices in the Jones Medical Building later this year. Hollomon expects to begin admitting patients to the institute, located in Northwest Regional’s North Tower, as early as April.
“We have had extremely limited inpatient psychiatric beds in this part of the state. We’ve had to send patients to Tulsa, Okla.; Joplin, Mo.; and Little Rock,” Hollomon said. “This new unit will be a wonderful thing for our patients and their families.”
Psychiatric Research Institute-Northwest will have 28 beds assigned to psychiatric patients and a staff of six provided by UAMS. The nursing and support staff will be provided by Northwest Regional, while Ozark Guidance Center will provide funding as well as pre- and post-outpatient services.
As clinical manager, Smith will oversee the outpatient clinic in addition to providing therapeutic treatment for patients.
“I’ve worked in a number of different psychiatric treatment settings as well as developed and directed an intensive outpatient program for adults with chronic, severe mental health problems and co-occurring substance abuse issues,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to having access to UAMS’ expertise and using those resources as needed to provide our patients with access to specialized care.”
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a new 540,000-square-foot hospital, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,652 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employers with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com.