Arkansas Children’s is about to open up a new phase of addressing children’s health as part of a new five-year plan that will include everything from the last five years and more.
Marcy Doderer, Arkansas Children’s CEO, said that a five-year campaign to improve access points has been wildly successful – and it will continue – but she said that larger overall health issues must be improved.
“The last five years we worked on a vision that stated we wanted to fundamentally transform healthcare delivery for kids in Arkansas. What that means is, the delivery system – the clinics, the number of physicians, the hospitals, all the infrastructure that goes into taking care of kids – and we have made great strides in that. We have, I think, increased access points and certainly been able to grow volumes, and bring in more providers,” she said.
“The next five years is really a shift for us not to stop doing anything we’re doing in the clinical arena. In fact, we still need to advance our clinical care, but it’s really about health, not just healthcare. So, our new vision statement that we released, as we went live with the campaign, is to create a promise for the state of Arkansas: unprecedented child health defined and delivered,” Doderer added.
Still in the midst of a $250 million capital campaign that has topped $200 million, Doderer said that the remaining $50 million will hopefully come from big and small donors to the hospital’s mission.
“We are certainly really grateful for great big donors, that can bring $1 million or $5 million to the table. But when we think about a campaign for a healthier tomorrow, we’re really talking about what it’s going to take to impact every child in our state, the 700-plus thousand kids, and that brings an invitation then to every family to contribute big or small, and to contribute to programs that might impact them in one of their own counties,” Doderer said.
She noted that there are now home visitations to children in 73 of 75 counties for healthcare. There have been major additions of mobile and permanent facilities in Northwest, Northeast and Southeast Arkansas. A fifth oral health van is being added to the hospital’s rotation.
“I think we anticipate that the $50 million will come from folks who are willing to go online, to giving at ARChildrens.org, and make a $10 pledge, or make a $10 a month pledge, and then there will be some of our bigger and stronger investors, those who have a real interest in finding improvements to child health, that we think will land in six and seven digit dollars,” she said.
Doderer also said that the next five years will involve an even more concerted effort to change the metrics that highlight children’s health in Arkansas. Currently, the state ranks 40th in overall child health, according to the annual Kids Count Survey.
“[We need to] move metrics, metrics on things like the percentage of children with access to primary care, the number of children who die before their first birthday – infant mortality rate – immunization rates, obesity rates. So, the five year plan that we actually are kicking off today… will allow us to move metrics on child health over the next five years. So, it’s what I call a ‘both and’ strategy. We will both continue to grow and expand and excel at clinical care and we are going to put initiatives in place that let us move the metrics on child health,” she said.
You can watch Doderer’s full interview in the video below.