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Simmons Bank said Monday that it donated $1 million to support construction of the new Dr. Josetta Wilkins Jefferson County Health Unit and the Sergeant Elga Lee Roberts Jefferson County Veterans Services Office in Pine Bluff.
The bank, owned by publicly traded Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff, announced the money during a groundbreaking for the health unit. The lobbies of buildings will be named in honor of Simmons Bank.
“Donating this gift to support our veterans and our local health unit is investing in the future of Pine Bluff, our hometown and our headquarters,” Daniel Robinson, community president of Simmons Bank in Pine Bluff, said in a news release.
Dr. Josetta Wilkins authored and sponsored the Arkansas Breast Cancer Act of 1997, which provided millions of dollars for education, diagnosis, treatment and research of breast cancer for Arkansas women. The new health unit will be named for her and located on the southwest corner of the Jefferson Regional Medical Center campus.
Construction of the health unit is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2021. The 12,000-SF facility will have 13 exam rooms and a laboratory. The unit will also include a 600-foot canopy for infectious disease testing.
The new Veterans Services Office will be named in honor of the late Sergeant Elga Lee Roberts, an Army veteran of Operation Desert Storm, and will be located at 114 State St. downtown. The 5,300-SF building will include veteran administration services as well as a museum, recreation room and other visiting areas for veterans. The center courtyard will serve as a veterans memorial.
The Health Unit and Veterans Services Office are organized under a public-private partnership with Jefferson County and The P3 Group Inc. of Memphis, which says it’s the largest minority-owned public-private partnership developer.