Best of the Best Coming Together

Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics and OrthoArkansas Topping-Out Ceremony

In a topping-out ceremony Thursday, August 24, the last steel beam was put in place on the frame of the building that will serve as the new and expanded Midtown clinic for Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics (ASO) and OrthoArkansas (OA). The merger of our groups is expected to be official on Jan. 1, 2018.

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“This represents a fundamental change in the way orthopaedic care is presented to people in Little Rock and Arkansas. Together we will be able to provide an increased level of orthopedic and musculoskeletal care,” said ASO’s president, Dr. Jimmy Tucker. “This additional state-of-the-art facility will be key in providing that care.”

The $22.5 million, 80,500-square-foot facility in Midtown along I-630 will replace Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics’ current building on South McKinley, and will serve as one of two Little Rock locations for the merged group. Building completion is expected in spring 2018.

In addition to doctors and staff representing both groups, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola spoke at the event on the economic development of the I-630 medical corridor. “This state-of-the-art facility is an investment in Midtown. The merger of these two groups represents the best of the best coming together,” Stodola said.

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletic Director Chase Conque and Director of Arkansas State Parks Grady Spann were also recognized from the podium. UALR continues to be an important partner in the economic development of the I-630 medical corridor and University District, and Spann oversees all 52 state parks in Arkansas, in addition to War Memorial Stadium.

Said Tucker, “From our current building on South McKinley, we have watched the tremendous growth this area has experienced, and were committed to staying here and being a partner. We are, in turn, fortunate to have a partner like OrthoArkansas, which is itself the result of four ortho groups merging together.”

We are also combining our two locations in North Little Rock, and they will open the replacement facility early next year on Landers Road. The new North Little Rock facility will house an expanded clinic, but also some of the merged group’s business office functions, according to Sue Hibbs, who will serve as the new group’s Chief Operating Officer.

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The combined group of 42 physicians will provide musculoskeletal care across Arkansas through a total of nine clinic locations. “We believe the combination of our two organizations is required to not only further enhance the quality care and services we provide our patients, but to allow us to be an even better partner with hospitals, insurance carriers, employers and athletic programs,” said Dr. Tad Pruitt, president of OrthoArkansas.

Each physician has completed specialized training, and combined they focus on the various areas of musculoskeletal care, including sports medicine, hand and upper extremity, total joint replacement, foot and ankle, orthopaedic trauma, rheumatology, orthopaedic spine, physical medicine and rehab, and certain neurosurgical procedures.

At our various offices, we will also offer outpatient surgery and pain management services, as well as urgent orthopaedic services through which patients can be evaluated and treated if surgery is not the answer or if they need to be fast-tracked to a surgeon.

This new building accommodates all of these orthopedic specialties and provides large areas for physical and occupational therapy, as well as an imaging suite with MRI, CT and radiology capabilities.

The building itself is steel frame construction with glass curtain wall windows, exterior insulated synthetic stucco and stone veneer. The result is a highly energy-efficient and state-of-the-art facility.

“For our two groups, the decision to merge started with casual conversations – commiseration really – about the challenges we faced and how divisions between the groups increased those challenges,” said Dr. Pruitt. “Both groups had success, growth, improving partnerships with health systems, quality providers, broad service lines, and a desire for organizational excellence. But both groups faced growing pressures and needs that sometimes exposed organizational limitations. Those made it harder to imagine an optimal future on our own. Casual conversations turned to philosophical and strategic ones, and we found ourselves more similar than different, especially when we focused on strategic goals and our visions for the future.

“It is a real honor to serve our patients and communities, and we are looking forward to the future with much enthusiasm – for many years to come.”

Thanks to everyone who made this possible!
Architect & Engineer – The Cromwell Firm
General Contractor – Kinco Constructors
Development Agent – Commercial Realty Development Services
Financing – Bank of the Ozarks

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