One of the first things drivers now see when they come into Conway from Little Rock is the new Baptist-Health Conway campus which opened last fall. But a new feature off to the left is the huge American flag flying over a new First Service Bank location.

First Service Bank, headquartered in Greenbrier and easily identified because of its large American flag, recently opened up a new location at 540 United Drive. Lori Case Melton, Conway Market President, moved here from the Washington Avenue location. She said that the bank is excited to be part of this new medical hub.

A new innovation at all 13 First Service Bank locations will be the new Video Tellers. Customers will be able to interact with a real person in real time on the ATM’s video screen. The new technology should be online later this spring. The new United Drive location will hold a Grand Opening later this spring.

The Baptist-Health Women’s Center, named for Conway businesswoman, Rhea Lana Riner, opened up February 9. A laborist (board-certified obstetrician) is available 24-7. There is also a Level II Special Care nursery for premature infants.

The Baptist-Health Medical Offices Building should be completed in June. The four-story 75,000 square-foot building will house several medical offices. The Baptist-Health Family Clinic, currently in a mobile facility behind the new construction, and Lab Quest will be on the first floor.

Arkansas Cardiology, also currently in a mobile facility behind the new construction, will be on the second floor. Dr. Bernard Gojer is the cardiologist at the clinic but Dr. Blake Norris also keeps office hours there every other Wednesday.

The other expected tenant will be Baptist-Health Neurosurgery Arkansas. Neurosurgeons Dr. Blake Phillips and Dr. Gautam K. Gandhi currently see patients every other Thursday in the Arkansas Cardiology mobile unit.

The first phase of Central Arkansas Medical Park, owned by Dr. James Thomas and his wife, Dr. Smitha Thomas, opened last fall but tenants are still moving in and getting settled. Dr. James Thomas has his Central Arkansas Heart Center on the third floor of the building. A Baptist pain management center will be joining him on the third floor within the next month.

The Baptist Health Surgical and Specialty Clinic-Conway and the Central Arkansas Lung clinic are located on the Medical Park’s second floor. Obstetricians from Little Rock have also recently established offices on this floor.

Medical Park Primary Care will be setting up a clinic on the first floor of the building. One of the doctors associated with this clinic is Dr. Smitha Thomas formerly of Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare. Dr. Thomas is currently seeing patients at a clinic on North Creek Drive.

Another exciting new feature on the first floor has been Café 501 which opened in late December. Perry Kelley, formerly associated with Mike’s Place and Bob’s Grill, has developed his own "casual-comfort" dining experience. He has already attracted the attention of Conway restaurant-goers with his made-from-scratch multi-cuisine menu that ranges from burgers and pizzas to sandwiches, pitas and wraps. There is also a kid-friendly menu as Kelley wants the restaurant to be a family-friendly place. Café 501 is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

My final new discovery was in the Conway Medical Park Pharmacy. Dr. Brittany Whitmore Miller is the pharmacist of this new full-service pharmacy that opened last fall. Yes, this is Brittany Whitmore, a 2003 Conway standout multi-sport athlete who went to play basketball at Xavier. She is the daughter of Shelia Bunting Whitmore Isby and Jerry Whitmore.

After completing pharmacy school at Xavier, Dr. Miller worked for CVS and Wal-Mart pharmacies before coming back home to Conway. The pharmacy offers free delivery in Conway and Mayflower and will soon begin offering specialties like vein treatments.

Dr. Thomas actually owns about 20 acres in this area but has only developed part of it so far. There is talk of a new nursing and rehabilitation facility as well as a new hotel. Remember to drop me a line at if you have news about happenings in the area.

Cindy Beckman writes about business rumors and happenings for the Log Cabin Democrat bi-monthly in “A Look Forward.” Send rumors and new business tips to