Tyson Family, Tyson Foods Give $15 Million to Childrens Hospital

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Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, along with the Tyson family, have donated $15 million to Little Rock-based health care organization Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

The gift will go toward construction of ACH’s 37-acre Springdale hospital campus, now under way west of Interstate 49 near Arvest Ballpark.

The gift, announced Tuesday in a news conference at Tyson Foods headquarters, is the largest donation in the 104-year history of Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

“The Tyson Family and Tyson Foods Inc. have a long history of investing in the future of Springdale and Northwest Arkansas,” John H. Tyson, board chairman of Tyson Foods, said in a statement. “We’re proud to continue that legacy with this gift to Arkansas Children’s Northwest.”

The $15 million gift will establish the Tyson Family Tower at Arkansas Children’s Northwest. The tower will anchor the new facility, which will include 233,613 SF of inpatient beds, emergency care, diagnostic services and clinical space.

The hospital is scheduled to open in January 2018.

“A children’s hospital in Northwest Arkansas has been a dream of this community for more than a decade,” longtime Tyson Foods board member Barbara Tyson said. “We are honored to be a part of this historic project.”

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $427.7 million over the next five years. That is a combination of the cost for construction, technology and equipment ($167 million) and operating expenses ($260.7 million).

ACH is spending $42.2 million in capital resources over the next five years, operating revenue is estimated to be $232 million and the city of Springdale has issued up to $85 million in tax-exempt hospital revenue bonds, which are expected to mature in 2040.

The hospital’s fundraising entity, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, is hoping to secure about $68 million in private support.

“At Tyson Foods, we value each and every shareholder, customer and team member,” CEO Donnie Smith said. “This investment in pediatric healthcare is a reflection of that commitment, as our team members and their families will benefit directly from having Arkansas Children’s Northwest right here in Northwest Arkansas.”

With the Tyson announcement Tuesday, the Northwest Arkansas community has now pledged $45.5 million toward the construction cost.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Walmart Foundation donated $8 million toward the project, while J.B. Hunt Transport Service Inc. has pledged $5 million.

“This gift will transform healthcare for children in the region and create a wellness destination for families for generations to come,” Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, said in a statement. “To have the Tyson name attached to this project demonstrates what an impact this facility will have on the area. It’s a testament to the outstanding legacy of this remarkable family and company.”