by Max Brantley
The Willard and Pat Walker Foundation of Fayetteville has given $2 million to Arkansas Children's Hospital for construction of a new wing. A clinic in the new building will be named for the Walkers, long-time supporters of the hospital.
The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation has given a $2 million grant to help support construction of the South Wing at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, hospital officials announced today. In recognition of the gift, the hospital will name the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Clinic in the South Wing in honor of the Walker Foundation.
The South Wing, with 258,000 square feet of space, is the largest building project in the hospital’s history. When completed in 2012, the South Wing will bring the total number of hospital beds to 370.
“This gift from the Walker Foundation will help the hospital do more and do better for the children of Arkansas,” says Dr. Jonathan Bates, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s Hospital. “The new South Wing will allow ACH to deliver the highest quality medical services in an environment that promotes and supports our commitment to family-centered care. It will enhance our ability to always provide the care, love and hope our children and families deserve.”
The ACH ENT Clinic, which records more than 14,000 patient visits annually, is dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the entire spectrum of ear, nose and throat disorders. The clinic will grow from seven exam rooms and two treatment rooms in its current space to 19 exam rooms and four treatment rooms in the South Wing area.
“The Walker Foundation has continued the remarkable legacy of care and compassion of Mr. and Mrs. Walker with this donation,” says John Bel, president of the ACH Foundation. “For so many years they have generously dedicated their resources to supporting healthcare and education. This $2 million gift will benefit children for years to come and once again puts the Walker family in the forefront of providing healing and hope. The children are most fortunate to have such steadfast support.”
The Willard and Pat Walker Foundation, based in Fayetteville, has supported ACH since 2001. Throughout the years, the foundation has provided funds to purchase intensive care equipment and has supported the neonatal intensive care program.
“We are proud to partner with Arkansas Children’s Hospital to help build the largest expansion of our state’s renowned pediatric hospital,” says Debbie Walker, executive director of the foundation. “The Walker Foundation has lent its support to Arkansas Children’s Hospital throughout the last decade because we recognize the high quality of care provided and even more so, the caring and supportive staff. We see the vital role ACH has in caring for our sickest children, establishing the best and highest standards in pediatric patient care and leading the way in critical areas of research, such as obesity and autism. For these reasons, we are excited to join this world-class healthcare leader in this endeavor. Arkansas Children’s Hospital makes Arkansas a better place to live.”