Error message

  • Warning: preg_match() [function.preg-match]: Unknown modifier '2' in getOS() (line 1183 of /home/citywire/public_html/sites/all/themes/tcw/template.php).
  • Warning: preg_match() [function.preg-match]: Unknown modifier 'c' in getOS() (line 1183 of /home/citywire/public_html/sites/all/themes/tcw/template.php).

Parker named osteopathic college CEO, says project moving ‘quickly’

story by Michael Tilley
mtilley@thecitywire.com

Fort Smith attorney Kyle Parker, who has been named president and CEO of the planned Fort Smith-based Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, said Wednesday they “are moving quickly” on what will be a $58 million college that when fully operational will house 600 students.

Parker, as chairman of the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation (FSRHF), has been the lead on pushing for the college that was announced Feb. 18. The media was notified Wednesday (April 9) of Parker’s new role with the college.

“Kyle Parker brings vision, passion and years of business experience and expertise to the role of CEO of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education,” John Taylor, chairman of the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation, said in a statement. “We are very fortunate to have Kyle serve as CEO as we develop a medical campus beginning with a proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine. Kyle also served on the board of Sparks Hospital when the hospital was sold. Kyle and the board are committed to reinvesting the proceeds from the sale of community owned Sparks Hospital for the maximum good of our area.”

Parker recently has worked in private banking investments and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to 2011, Parker served as vice chancellor of operations with the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, where he was initially responsible for the technology needs of 8,000 students and 1,000 staff and faculty. His role expanded in 2010 to include the strategic direction for growth at UAFS.

“I’m excited to accept the challenge of bringing this community’s vision to life,” Parker said in the statement. “Fort Smith is the perfect home for a school of this caliber and we will focus our efforts on being able to fill gaps in healthcare and provide care for the medically underserved. We’ve said it before; it’s not about building a school, it’s about recognizing needs in our area, in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and across the U.S., and using our resources to fulfill that need.”

THE COLLEGE
A fully operational school is expected to serve about 600 students, and employ around 65 (full-time equivalent jobs) with an average salary of $103,000. That impact does not include adjunct professors that will be needed for the school, he said. The school, to be located on Chaffee Crossing land (200 acres) donated by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, is targeted to accept its first cohort of students in the fall of 2017.

There are 30 colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs), offering instruction at 40 locations in 28 states. There is not an osteopathy school in Arkansas. Should the development of an osteopathic school in Fort Smith happen, it would be a private, non-profit institution and not dependent on continuous public funds from the state.

Parker said Wednesday that the Chaffee Crossing land has been appraised at $5 million, above the initial estimate of $4 million.

“We just continue to be grateful for their (FCRA) gift,” Parker said.

HIRING OTHER KEY PERSONNEL
He also said members of the FSRHF have interviewed seven candidates “with very very strong” medical backgrounds for the chief academic officer job. Filling the job is critical to the process because a detailed feasibility study cannot be submitted to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation until six months after the CAO is hired. The foundation is set to interview four more candidates, and then narrow the list down and invite the top candidates and their spouse to Fort Smith.

“It’s my plan, at this stage, to get our dean (CAO) hired by May 15 for a start date of July 1,” Parker explained.

He said the FSRHF has hired a consultant who is helping prep for the feasibility study, and he expects the first priority of the new CAO will be to soon hire assistant deans and so they may all work on the feasibility study and develop curriculum.

“This is not a simple report. ... This feasibility study will be several hundred pages long when it is finished,” Parker said.

The FSRHF also expects on April 22 to meet with architects for the purpose of selecting a firm to work with the CAO on the design of the new college campus. Parker said the city of Fort Smith has committed $1.8 million for street, water, sewer and other infrastructure work, and Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp. and OG&E are donating a portion of their work to bring utilities to the campus.

“At this stage we see nothing that will slow down our timeline,” Parker told The City Wire during a Wednesday interview. “We’re moving quite quickly. I believe now that we will be able to break ground on the building in late spring of next year.”

COLLEGE, PARKER HISTORY
Revenue from the 2009 purchase of Fort Smith-based Sparks Health System is being used to build and operate the planned college. When Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates (HMA) acquired Sparks in a deal valued at $138 million, part of the money was used to create the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation. Foundation initiatives include supporting scholarships for individuals seeking advanced medical training, the Community Dental Clinic in Fort Smith, health education programs in area schools, and other medical training options.

Advertisement:

The new college may help in a small way alleviate the U.S. physician shortage. Parker has said there are about 3,000 applications for every opening in U.S. medical schools. He also said the country will have to produce more doctors to push back against a possible shortage of 140,000 doctors by 2030. That number could rise to 250,000 if the federal Affordable Health Care Act if fully implemented.

Parker earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University and a juris doctorate from Franklin Pierce law Center in New Hampshire. He is married and the father of two children.

During his years as a private practice attorney, Parker wrote the first artificial intelligence software (CLARA) ever granted a registered copyright for the legal profession while in law school. He then created a word search engine, and digitized the Arkansas legal case opinions, statutory and regulatory laws in 1989 to release the first legal CD-ROM in history (CaseBase). In 1994, he conceived and created the first searchable legal information internet site (Loislaw.com) and continued to grow Loislaw.com into a successful publicly traded company. The company was sold Wolters Kluwer in 2001.

Five Star Votes: 
Average: 4.4 (20 votes)

Like This Article? Share It!

Comments

2 Osteopathic Schools

Arkansas State has already done their feasibility study, passed the resolution, acquired a building, and has filed for accreditation. They are going to welcome the first med students in a year and a half. Jonesboro and Arkansas State is a much better fit for the med school IMO.

Debates are healthy, but use facts, not hype.

Your statements are not accurate. The proposed school in Jonesboro is a New York med school (NYIT) wanting to establish a branch campus and renting a building from ASU. ASU would be a landlord. It would NOT be an ASU medical school. Only Fort Smith is proposing an Arkansas DO Medical School. Second, only Fort Smith has filed for applicant status with the Commission on College Accreditation (COCA). Fort Smith filed for applicant status over 5 months ago. So far, according to the COCA website, neither the New York school or ASU has filed for applicant status. As such, the governing body that accredits DO med schools isn't even recognizing that the New York school is wanting to establish a branch campus in Jonesboro. Finally, the feasibility study mentioned in the article by Mr. Parker is not the same as the one announced by ASU a few months ago. The feasibility study Mr. Parker mentions is the one required by COCA for accreditation. The Fort Smith Foundation had long ago established the need for more doctors in the State. There must be a reason why the Arkansas Osteopathic Medical Association (AOMA) is endorsing the Fort Smith Medical School, and not the New York school. I appreciate a good debate, but I suggest looking at the facts.

Are you kidding me?

ASU having a DO school affects the decision to have one in Ft. Smith how? Jonesboro is 6 hours away. We're less than 2 hours from Tulsa, which already has a program. Jonesboro is less than 2 hours from Memphis which has a program. There aren't enough doctors, period. Having a school in Ft. Smith improves the odds of having physicians in this area. Having one in Jonesboro doesn't. Lets not look askance at one of the better things to happen in this area in the past 5 years.

Not Kidding

The Medical School in Fort Smith would be a great addition to the city and the area but if these highly intelligent people get a good look at the shenanigans of the local government, you can color them long gone after graduation. Golf anyone?

Conflict?

A lawyer heading up a medical school? You usually see the lawyers chasing the docs around trying to suck a few bucks out of them with lawsuits. this does seem odd.

Kyle Parker - Another success on the way

The River Valley is fortunate to have Mr. Parker. He has a 100 percent winning track record with making a remarkable difference everywhere he lends his talent.

Kyle Parker could probably take up knitting

and end up with a multi-million dollar business out of the deal. Hard to believe anybody here could complain about this. There's been doctors and lawyers in his family.

DO School

Memphis does NOT have a DO school. The closest one to Jonesboro is Hattiesburg,MS. As previously stated, Tulsa has a DO school 2 hours from Ft. Smith. They need brand new buildings and infrastructure. ASU building is ready. The infrastructure is already there. Ft. Smith is a sinking ship with a freaking lawyer as the head. Good luck. You're gonna need it.

howl no

according to this website: ( http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/accreditation/predoctoral%20accreditation/Documents/new-and-developing-colleges-of-osteopathic-medicine-and-campuses.pdf ) Fort Smith have nothing to worry about b/c apparently Jonesboro isn't even recognized by the American Osteopathic Association nor are they recognized by the accrediting body of osteopathic medical schools as developing an DO school. You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

Hide and Watch

The City Wire comments have devolved to nothing but a sounding board for the nattering nabobs of negativism as evidenced by Arkansasan. This is going to happen and then all will be proud. You really sound like Jack Swink Arky. All Jonesboro all the time. Fort Smith is just a crap hole because of the city administrator form of government. I have come to believe that all these commenters are really about 3 people headed by Swink and Happy Times that post serial negative things about our town. I think it is a pretty amazing place that will do well as long as we have progressive folks step forward to take leadership positions in business and government. Kyle Parker and the foundation will make this happen in spite of the negativity. Hey Jack, move to Jonesboro. It won't be long before you will be bitchin' at them.
The City Wire comments have devolved to nothing but a sounding board for the nattering nabobs of negativism as evidenced by Arkansasan. This is going to happen and then all will be proud. You really sound like Jack Swink Arky. All Jonesboro all the time. Fort Smith is just a crap hole because of the city administrator form of government. I have come to believe that all these commenters are really about 3 people headed by Swink and Happy Times that post serial negative things about our town. I think it is a pretty amazing place that will do well as long as we have progressive folks step forward to take leadership positions in business and government. Kyle Parker and ...>> Read the entire comment.

Wrong Again Observer

I think the Medical School by Kyle Parker is a great project and will do great things for Fort Smith while bringing in much needed capital to Fort Smith so bite your tongue Observer and quit your hateful attacks on the hard working citizens of the community who actually do create jobs and tax revenue!

Foot In Mouth

It looks like the Observer has stuck his foot in his mouth again picking on people that do many great things for the community without the use of tax dollars. One must wonder why anyone would pay any attention to his rants and attacks on people who work hard and contribute much to the economy of the city.

Great

I am impressed and pleased to be wrong in my assessment of you. I think this is the first project I have seen you in support of. Gee, HT and I agree on something. Write it down!

Gee Wrong Again Observer

You are so wrong again Observer and may I be so bold as to quote you from the Bible "Do Not Judge Lest You Be Judged". Happy met many times with Strib Boynton and about getting a public transportation system started in Fort Smith, the library expansions, the River Front entertainment pavilion, served as a past President of Downtown Development Association that started the Pub Crawls, The Downtown New Years Eve Ball Drops, worked with Bert Wright on the Downtown Banner Program, worked on the advisory committee for the remodel of Downtown Historic Site, provided the FOP with meeting facilities for over 10 years, and the list goes on and on. It may be in your best interest to get your facts straight before you spew any more of your misguided less than factual comments.
You are so wrong again Observer and may I be so bold as to quote you from the Bible "Do Not Judge Lest You Be Judged". Happy met many times with Strib Boynton and about getting a public transportation system started in Fort Smith, the library expansions, the River Front entertainment pavilion, served as a past President of Downtown Development Association that started the Pub Crawls, The Downtown New Years Eve Ball Drops, worked with Bert Wright on the Downtown Banner Program, worked on the advisory committee for the remodel of Downtown Historic Site, provided the FOP with meeting facilities for over 10 years, and the list goes on and on. It may be in your best ...>> Read the entire comment.

Agreed

The comments on The City Wire are so negative and are controlled by these same three people that I am contemplating not logging onto The City Wire any longer. For the life of me I cannot understand why the editor let's these 3 people post their dribble over and over and over and over and over (get the idea) again. Posting their opinion once is sufficient.

Dribble More

"Agreed", Are you the pot calling the kettle black? But the answer to your question may be that the editor at the City Wire believes in free speech unlike a newspaper editor who edits opinions to agree with the party line.

Censorship

Have to disagree about the city wire editor. as much censorship here as with the Times Record and KFSM. If they don't agree with your position your posts get deleted more often than not.