by Max Brantley
Arkansas Children’s Hospital Announces New Hospital Campus in Springdale
Initial investment of 37 acres from the Evans and George families improves access to health care for kids
(Springdale, Ark.) Arkansas Children’s Hospital plans to build a new hospital campus in Springdale, ACH President and CEO Marcy Doderer announced Friday. The campus will be built on 37 acres donated by David and Cathy (George) Evans, Gary and Robin George and their families. This gift represents a historic investment in the future of pediatric health care in Arkansas.
The Springdale campus is part of ACH’s broader plan to expand pediatric services across Arkansas.
“We are going to blanket the state with services that will improve access to pediatric care and improve the health of children throughout our state,” Doderer told the crowd of 1,600 at Friday night’s 8th Annual Color of Hope Gala at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. “There is no cookie-cutter approach to planning the delivery of excellent, comprehensive children’s health care. Each area of the state will require a different approach. Based on conversations with physicians, business leaders and families, we know there are immediate needs right here that must be addressed.”
The first step in improving access to care was marked by the arrival of two new Angel One helicopters earlier this summer. The second step in developing the new ACH statewide system is the planning of a 24-bed pediatric hospital on the campus in Springdale, Arkansas. ACH will detail additional plans for expanded services across Arkansas throughout the coming months.
The state-of-the-art hospital will sit on a 37-acre campus located on I-49 between Don Tyson Parkway and Highway 412, bordered by S. 56th Street and Watkins Avenue across the street from Arvest Ballpark.
The proposed 225,000-square-foot facility will include:
* 24 inpatient beds
* Emergency Department/Urgent Care Center with 21 exam rooms
* 30 Clinic exam rooms
* Five Operating rooms
* Imaging capabilities (MRI, CT and routine x-ray)
* Diagnostic services (infusion, PFT, EEG, echo, neurophysiology, audiology, rehabilitation)
* Helipad with refueling station
“Today, this project represents an estimated investment of $184 million over the next five years,” said Dr. Robert Steele, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. “The ultimate scope and success of the project will depend greatly on generous individuals, corporations and foundations supporting the construction effort.”
The population of northwest Arkansas recently reached 500,000 residents. It is estimated that the pediatric population in the region is growing two- to three-times faster than in any other part of the state. Further, at least 27% of the children in the region live in poverty and half grow up in low-income households.
Last year, 21,000 children were treated at the ACH Clinic in Lowell. More than 450 children were transported to Arkansas Children's Hospital via Angel One helicopters and ambulances. With the proposed site location, 70% of northwest Arkansas residents will be able to reach ACH’s services within 30 minutes or less.
“There is a great need for improved, expanded services for children in northwest Arkansas,” notes Fred Scarborough, Chief Development Officer at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and President of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This gift from these two families accelerates the plan for expansion of services. We are very grateful to Cathy and David Evans and Robin and Gary George for their vision and commitment. May it inspire others to lend their support to this project.”
The Evans and George families understand the importance of having access to world-class pediatric care close to home. Cathy and David Evans’s daughter Erin was treated at ACH for a life-threatening heart condition and their grandson Benton was treated for a urology complication.
In 1982, Robin and Gary George’s son Charles went into heart failure at only two weeks old. He was flown to ACH, where he received a cutting-edge procedure to repair his heart. In 2004, their two-year-old grandson Hayden Swope received life-saving care at ACH after contracting an E. coli infection.
“Once you’ve needed ACH, you realize the impact it has on the children of Arkansas,” says Gary. “My sister and I know firsthand how wonderful the physicians and staff are at ACH. Having access to that kind of world-class care right here in Springdale will be a game changer for so many families.”
Cathy Evans and Gary George are the grandchildren of C.L. George, Founder of George’s Inc. The company spans multiple states with more than 4,700 employees. George’s Inc. headquarters are located in Springdale.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital champions children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow. ACH provides a statewide system of care through a pediatric teaching hospital and research institute in Little Rock, regional clinics in northwest and northeast Arkansas and a wide range of education and prevention programs throughout the state.