Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

$600,000 donation a ‘testament’ to JRMC


Wh en people open up their pocketbook­s and give, it is a testament to the operation of the entity they are supporting. Such is the situation with a recent and generous gift of $600,000 to the new cancer center at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.

The gift-givers are George and Livia Dunklin and Bill, Sharri and Sissy Jones. They are connected to the hospital but in entirely different ways.

George Dunklin Jr. is on the hospital’s foundation board and has been impressed with JRMC’s CEO Brian Thomas.

“Brian has built a very impressive balance sheet, which allows Jefferson Regional to become a strong regional hospital for all of southeast Arkansas,” he said. “My father, who passed away almost 14 years ago, served on the hospital board for several years and would be very proud to see how the hospital has positioned itself for future growth in the community that he loved so much. My family and I are proud to be part of the new cancer center and to honor my father’s past service to Jefferson Regional.”

And then there is the Jones family, which has had its own relationsh­ip with the hospital. Sissy Jones, who founded Sissy’s Log Cabin, said the treatment that she received from the hospital’s cancer center for her diagnosis of breast cancer is why she is alive today.

“I’m excited to lend my name to the facility that saved my life and can save many more people in the future,” Sissy Jones said.

Said Bill Jones, CEO of the jewelry business: “I was devastated when I heard my mother’s diagnosis, and like anyone else, I was going to do everything in my power to make her healthy again. But she was right — the very best care for her was here locally at Jefferson Regional. I couldn’t be happier with her recovery and the fact that I have her back on the job with me. Her personal experience influenced our decision, and we are proud to support the cancer center at Jefferson Regional, which will ultimately benefit patients throughout the region.”

The two families, long associated with supporting Pine Bluff, are throwing their weight behind an $8 million investment the hospital recently announced to consolidat­e and upgrade all of its cancer treatment services under one roof.

The hospital is one of the bedrock institutio­ns in Pine Bluff and southeast Arkansas. This commitment further cements that standing. Congratula­tions to Jefferson Regional for being the kind of institutio­n that individual­s want to support, and thank you to the Dunklins and Joneses for further strengthen­ing JRMC. May the new Jones-Dunklin Cancer Center be successful in its fight to give cancer patients better outcomes.

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