Walton Family Foundation donates $3 million to Arkansas Children’s Northwest campus

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 367 views 

Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Springdale received a $3 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation to establish a 37-acre wellness campus, outdoor labyrinth and nature trail at the Northwest Arkansas hospital slated to open in January 2018.

The Amelia Faulk Labyrinth and Nature Trail is named for a Walton family friend who was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a genetic disorder resulting in fragile bones that break easily, and who has received care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital since birth.

“Arkansas Children’s Hospital has been with me every step of my journey,” said the 26-year-old Faulk. “The love and support the staff has shown me over the years has been incredible. The physicians and nurses have been a part of our family my whole life. I hope this gift from the Walton Family makes it easier for sick children in Northwest Arkansas to experience the same caring commitment.”

Studies have shown that after a stressful event, a natural, outdoor setting can aid in the healing process. When patient families are absorbed by nature, they are distracted from their pain and anxiety is reduced. Access to nature and positive distractions can serve as a mental, emotional lift for patients, families and employees.

Spending time in an outdoor labyrinth has been shown to quiet the mind and restore the individual. Modeled after traditional outdoor walking labyrinths, the Amelia Faulk Labyrinth will consist of a single, circular path. However, unlike typical labyrinths, the path will be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

“Thanks to the Walton Family Foundation, patients, families and staff at Arkansas Children’s Northwest will have a safe and serene outdoor space where they can relax and recharge,” said Fred Scarborough, president of Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We’re so pleased the family has chosen to honor Amelia in this heart-felt manner. Their gift in her honor helps create a therapeutic environment for children while providing care close to home for more than 200,000 children in this region.”

This gift is included in the $53 million total previously announced Aug. 5 at the Color of Hope Gala in Rogers. The project is expected to cost $427.7 million in construction, technology, equipment, and operating expenses over the next five years, and will create 250 new jobs.