Success Story
June 6, 2017

Critical Infrastructure Improvements Help Open New Medical School, Increase Physician Access in Rural Arkansas

Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine building

Over the past 50 years, the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District has experienced multiple successes with the assistance of the Economic Development Administration.

Recently, they had the opportunity to partner with the city of Fort Smith, the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation, the Degen Foundation, and EDA to construct Arkansas’ first college of osteopathic medicine on a 200-acre campus with the Arkansas College of Health Education.

The first phase of the project to improve the 60,000 square foot school included road improvements, extension of utility services and a parking lot.

This project, which will enable the school to enroll 150 students per year, has already created approximately 75 faculty and staff positions.

With a $1.2 million EDA investment, this $3.6 million project will assist in the shortage of health care in the area as well as providing many diverse job opportunities in the region.


  • Economic Development Districts
  • Infrastructure