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Arkansas moved a big step closer to having its first dental school with last Monday’s announcement that Lyon College will partner with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in the effort.
“This partnership will ensure the highest-level programmatic achievement for the new Lyon College Institute of Health Sciences and fulfill UAMS’ mission to improve the health and health care of Arkansas,” Dr. Stephanie Gardner, UAMS senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, said.
Lyon announced in April plans to work with OneHealth Education Group of Little Rock to establish the state’s first dental and veterinary schools under its Institute of Health Sciences. The plan is to house both schools at the Heifer International headquarters in Little Rock, which Lyon plans to buy.
Lyon still needs to achieve accreditation for both schools, a major hurdle but one that, at least where the dental school is concerned, will be easier to clear with UAMS’ help.
Not only would dental and veterinary schools improve oral and animal health in Arkansas, but they also would strengthen the economic base of Little Rock, as well as bolster downtown’s continued redevelopment.
Albemarle Corp.’s announcement Wednesday that it planned a $540 million expansion and modernization of two bromine facilities provided more good economic development news, this time for south Arkansas.
The company said it expects expansions at two facilities in Magnolia to create 250 construction jobs and a 15% increase in total jobs at the two facilities, with an average annual salary of $100,000.
Albemarle also is working with the state to provide leadership and technical training at its Magnolia locations.
It was a good week for Arkansas on both the education and manufacturing fronts.