Walmart heir and philanthropist Alice Walton and her foundation will partner with the Cleveland Clinic to improve specialty care access in Northwest Arkansas.
The Alice L Walton Foundation announced on Monday (Aug. 16) that the two organizations will assess specialty care needs in the region and develop recommendations for healthcare solutions to improve them.
A recent study by the Northwest Arkansas Council found a significant out-migration for specialty care totaling $950 million in 2018 and expected to top $1.2 billion by 2030.
“As Northwest Arkansas continues to grow, it’s imperative that we increase access to specialty care in our region, so residents don’t have to travel elsewhere for care they could receive closer to home,” Alice Walton said in a statement. “I’ve long admired Cleveland Clinic’s innovative approach to care that is aimed at elevating the well-being of the community with a system for lifelong health. Our goal with this collaboration to assess the specialty care needs of our region is to investigate how to make a transformative approach to health and well-being available to everyone.”
Walton’s vision and the foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life through access to offerings that enhance well-being. In 2020, she announced the formation of the Whole Health Institute in Bentonville. Earlier this year, Walton announced the Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Bentonville.
Walton said the organizations would focus on “redesigning the systems that impact health and well-being with the goal of making whole health accessible and affordable to all.”
According to the release, Cleveland Clinic and the Alice L. Walton Foundation envision that any future specialty care initiatives they may develop in the region would collaborate with the Whole Health Institute to identify opportunities for increased patient experience and engagement to improve health outcomes.
“At Cleveland Clinic, our purpose is caring for others,” said Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic. “We believe it is our responsibility to provide more patients with access to Cleveland Clinic’s safe, quality and compassionate care. The Alice L. Walton Foundation shares this commitment to serving others, and we are pleased to work together in support of the Northwest Arkansas community.”
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. U.S. News & World Report recently named Cleveland Clinic the No. 2 hospital in the nation in the “2021-2022 Best Hospitals” rankings and has ranked it No. 1 in heart care for 27 consecutive years.
Cleveland Clinic has locations in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Toronto and Abu Dhabi and London.
“I’m delighted to work with Cleveland Clinic to determine how best to bring world-class specialty care to Northwest Arkansas,” Walton said. “Our thriving region has always had a culture of collaboration and focus on serving the community’s needs. As we grow and welcome new residents daily, we will all benefit from increased access to excellent and innovative care.”