Arisa Health receives historic $4M gift from Jane Hunt for new Benton County facility

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,036 views 

Springdale-based nonprofit Arisa Health announced a $4 million donation Thursday (Oct. 5). The gift from Jane Hunt, daughter of Johnelle Hunt and the late J.B. Hunt, will help support the construction of a new Benton County clinical services facility in Rogers and to help provide continuing education for counselors.

“Arisa Health is deeply grateful for this transformative gift from Ms. Hunt, as it will provide immeasurable support for those in need of services in Northwest Arkansas,” Arisa Health CEO Laura Tyler said in a news release.

According to the release, it is the largest gift ever received by Arisa Health or its affiliate organization, Ozark Guidance. Arisa Health was formed in 2019 by merging four behavioral health providers throughout Arkansas.

“Arisa Health has experienced major increases in demand, especially in school-based services for children, outpatient care for children and adults, and more intensive services for people with serious mental illnesses,” the news release said. “As demand for mental health services has increased, Arisa Health has outgrown clinical space in Benton County.”

Arisa Health owns property on South 40th Street in Rogers, east of Promenade Boulevard, and plans to build a 20,000-square-foot facility to consolidate service locations.

“One of the unfortunate results of the pandemic has been a shortage of qualified clinical behavioral health providers to meet the growing demand,” the Arisa Health news release said. “To help recruit and especially retain mental health providers, Arisa Health is raising funds for continuing education scholarships for Arisa Associates to pursue advanced degrees or certifications.”

Arisa Health has launched a capital campaign to support the construction, which should begin in early 2024. Spokesman Kyle Gibson said a precise construction cost estimate has not been determined, so the specific campaign goal has not been finalized.

“Suffice it to say that the project will cost several million dollars more, and we welcome philanthropic support at all levels, large and small,” Gibson said.

Among the programs, services and spaces that will be located on the new Arisa Health campus in Rogers are:

  • outpatient children’s services
  • support for its extensive School-based services as well as summer programming for young clients
  • parent/child interaction therapy room
  • a gym/multi-purpose play space
  • an outdoor playground
  • outpatient adult counseling
  • medical and psychiatric services
  • substance use recovery services

Arisa Health’s news release noted a long history of financial support from the Hunt family, dating back to the 1980s when J.B. and Johnelle Hunt — co-founders of Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. — served as hosts for community events supporting Ozark Guidance and highlighting the need for community-based mental health.