SPRINGDALE -- Arkansas Children's Northwest hospital will open its doors for outpatient care Tuesday after about two years of fundraising and construction, hospital officials announced Saturday.
Officials also announced that the hospital had raised $80 million from more than 8,000 Arkansans.
The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation gave the capstone donation of $8 million on behalf of Pat Walker, a philanthropist who died in 2016 at age 97. A light-filled tower at the end of the hospital overlooking Interstate 49 near Arvest Ballpark will bear her name.
"You'll be able to see that for miles around," said Marcy Doderer, Arkansas Children's president and chief executive officer, noting the tower makes literal the hospital's goal to be a beacon for child-focused, lifesaving health care. "If a family's looking for us, they'll be able to find us."
Doderer called the area's generosity overwhelming. The hospital raised $10 million more than its goal.
"Our promise is that investment will be worth every penny," she said.
The hospital and its staff are largely ready to accept patients, but its opening will take a staggered approach as the state government inspects, certifies and licenses different types of care, Doderer said.
The Arkansas Children's Lowell Clinic, which offers outpatient services in cardiology, neurology and other areas, will set up shop at the hospital starting Tuesday.
Doderer said pediatric emergency services and longer inpatient care could start within weeks.
Arkansas Children's Northwest stands five floors tall and includes clinics and labs, room for 24 inpatient beds, a helipad and several operating rooms. The most critical or complex procedures will still require flying the patient to the main Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, but the Springdale site will be able to handle things such as broken bones and cancer treatments, spokesman Hilary DeMillo said.
Natural light fills the hospital's waiting rooms and lobbies through tall windows on all sides of the building. Sculpted animals and plants and multicolor geometric shapes adorn walls and floors to make a child feel at ease, DeMillo said.
The 37-acre site also has outdoor paths and rooms for families.
"We're not caring for one patient, we're caring for the family," DeMillo said.
Trisha Montague, the new hospital's chief administrator, said nearly all of more than 200 positions there have been filled. They include around 30 pediatricians and subspecialists, some from within Arkansas and others from as far afield as Alaska.
The effort to get a pediatric hospital in Northwest Arkansas drew together seemingly every prominent family and company in the region.
Tyson Foods and the Tyson family gave the largest single gift, $15 million. in addition to the Walker Charitable Foundation, Wal-Mart and the Walton Family Foundation, J.B. Hunt and the Hunt family, George's Inc., the George and Evans families and many others gave tens of millions more.
Marcy Doderer, Arkansas Children's Hospital president and CEO, speaks Saturday before an event to celebrate the hospital's opening in Springdale . The hospital will open its doors for outpatient care Tuesday after about two years of fundraising and construction.
Metro on 01/07/2018
Print Headline: Children's Northwest set to open clinic doors