ACH Springdale Campus Gets $8 Million Boost

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 150 views 

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Walmart Foundation are donating $8 million toward the construction of a 233,000-SF pediatric hospital campus in Springdale, being developed by Little Rock-based health care organization Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

The amount is one of the largest gifts ever made to health care by Walmart or Walmart Foundation, its charitable giving arm.

The announcement was made May 9 inside the Sam’s Club Community Room at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, across the street from the 37-acre site of the planned hospital campus, on land donated by Gary and Robin George and David and Cathy Evans.

 “We are proud to be investing in the health and wellness of families and children in Northwest Arkansas,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation. “Walmart is committed to strengthening the local communities in which we operate, and having a children’s hospital in this region is a huge step forward.”

ACH — the only pediatric medical center in the state and the sixth-largest in the country — announced its intentions last summer to build a hospital in Springdale, part of a broader strategy to increase access to pediatric services across the state. 

Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of ACH, said the hospital is scheduled to open in January 2018.

“This transformational gift to Arkansas Children’s Northwest will help us fulfill our mission to champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow,” Doderer said. “We are extremely grateful to Walmart and Walmart Foundation for this historic gift and their ongoing support.”

Construction cost of the hospital is estimated to be $167 million, according to ACH. The hospital’s fundraising entity, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, hopes to raise about $70 million in donations for the project.

When asked how much money fundraising efforts have yielded thus far, Doderer said: “We’ve got so many irons in the fire in terms of conversations with families, corporations and other donors that I honestly don’t have a total for you. We will be making several announcements in the coming weeks, and also letting the donors announce on their own timeline.

“The support we are receiving has been great.”

Doderer said ACH leaders, including chaplains from its pastoral care department, recently joined others involved in the project for a private ceremony at the construction site to bless the land. She said a public groundbreaking event will likely be scheduled this summer.

The general contractor for the construction project is Nabholz Construction Corp. of Conway. FKP Architects of Houston, Texas, and Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects of Little Rock have been chosen as the architectural firms to lead the design of the new hospital. It will include 24 inpatient beds, 30 emergency department rooms, five operating rooms and 30 clinic rooms.

The campus will also include walking trails, gardens and a helipad and refueling station.