Arkansas Children’s CEO hopes to open expanded facilities by 2026

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 1,260 views 

Arkansas Children’s CEO Marcy Doderer said expansion plans in central and northwest Arkansas are being driven by different factors and she’s optimistic that new facilities can be in service by early 2026.

Over a week ago, Arkansas Children’s announced a $318 million expansion that will add up to 100 new doctors and 400 new support staff.

Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Doderer said the hospital’s Springdale campus is feeling pressure from the population growth in the region.

“Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW) just celebrated five years of being in existence. I can’t believe it’s gone that fast. It was built as a small community hospital knowing that we would probably steadily and readily have to expand it in order to meet the needs of that community,” she said. “As the population continues to really move up in northwest Arkansas, there are more kids demanding services from our state. What we’ve also found though, is being up there in that corner of Arkansas, we are attractive to families in eastern Oklahoma and southern Missouri, so we find it’s now time to expand our spaces at ACNW.”

That will include adding inpatient rooms, operating rooms, and clinic space, she said.

In Little Rock, there are a number of reasons for upgrades and expansions.

“Arkansas Children’s Hospital, sitting right here in Little Rock, is our big tertiary children’s hospital. It draws not just from all over the state, but also the region. And we’re starting to see a need to change a bit of how we approach outpatient care. So, for the first time, we’re actually building a dedicated ambulatory surgery center. Also, we need a better, more efficient and purposefully-designed kids’ place for outpatient surgery. It’s time to refresh how we really approach outpatient clinic visits,” Doderer said.

She added that the main Little Rock campus will also have a new entrance as part of the redesign of the hospital. In part, this is aimed at being more responsive to the patient and family experience.
“Our ultimate goal is new buildings are open for business in the early part of 2026,” Doderer said.

Doderer also commented on Arkansas Children’s efforts to reach patients statewide through its main campuses, partnerships and collaborations, and telehealth. She also spoke to the workforce challenges surrounding the addition of 500 new healthcare workers. Watch her full interview in the video below.