Arkansas Children’s Hospital and UAMS announced this afternoon a new working agreement effective Oct. 1 to continue a long relationship by which, among other things, doctors serve at both Children’s and on the pediatrics faculty at the med school. The news release doesn’t reflect the drama that I’ve been told attended renewal of this deal, which was to expire Sunday.

A new deal wasn’t reached until Friday evening. I was told of the tentative agreement at 5;33 p.m. that day.   I’d been following the talks because sources had told me Children’s had insisted on some changes that met initial resistance.  Topics of tension reportedly included a move of urologists to Children’s, discussions of non-compete provisions and credit for research grants.

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More on that as I’m able. I asked Friday, and still have not received, the final specifics of the new arrangement (a sign of transparency of new UAMS leadership, perhaps?) In the meanwhile, here’s the details-deficient news release:

Arkansas’ children have a healthier tomorrow before them, after the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children’s today signed updated research collaborative and affiliation agreements.

The agreements, which take effect Oct. 1, continue the strategic partnership of the state’s only medical university and the state’s only children’s health system.

UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, MD, MBA, and Arkansas Children’s President & CEO Marcy Doderer, FACHE, called the agreements “a vital step and the next milestone” in the more than 40-year relationship of the two institutions. The two describe the agreements as enhanced strategic partnerships between UAMS and Arkansas Children’s.

The institutions agreed last year to explore a closer relationship. The agreements announced today have met the due diligence and regulatory approvals of both institutions.

“The 720,000 children of Arkansas are at the center of every decision we make at Arkansas Children’s, and never more so than today,” Doderer said. “These updated agreements empower us and our strategic partner to continue blanketing the state with pediatric services aimed at improving the health of children where they live, learn and play.”

“The affiliation between our two institutions is good for Arkansas Children’s and UAMS but most importantly for children all across our state,” said Patterson. By working together, UAMS and Arkansas Children’s are able to provide better health and health care for the youngest Arkansans who are at the heart of everything we do.”

“UAMS brings a comprehensive team of physicians to Arkansas Children’s that represent all specialties across the spectrum of medicine,” said Christopher T. Westfall, MD, FACS. “Because our physicians have an academic interest in research and education, they are teaching and providing the latest treatments and techniques.”

The updated agreements aim to provide high level care to children and young adults, integrate pediatric research activities and continue to advance leading pediatric clinical care and academic programs with national recognition, attract and retain top staff, and improve operating performance.

“We look forward to empowering the faculty, researchers and staff who serve children every day to make their highest and best contribution at every point of care,” said Arkansas Children’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Chanda Chacon, MPH, FACHE. “The people of Arkansas have come to expect the very best for their children. We are poised to continue to deliver just that.”

UPDATE: Tuesday, I was provided a copy of the master agreement and a separate agreement pertaining to research.

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