LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Dec. 7, 2012) - Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) announced today that it will create the Jonathan R. Bates, MD Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy to honor its retiring president and CEO after nearly 20 years of unwavering service to the region's children.
The boards of directors of ACH and the ACH Foundation, with the support of the ACH Research Institute, have designated $3 million in initial funding to help establish the center. It will include an endowed chair established in Bates' name, and the chair holder will lead the Center. This endowment is funded through private philanthropy. The public is invited to participate in this important initiative. Supporters may honor Dr. Bates' legacy with a gift to the Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy.
The Jonathan R. Bates, MD Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy will focus on healthcare quality improvement efforts through several disciplines. It will carry on Bates' legacy by promoting innovative techniques to improve patient safety and effective care, as well as compassionate patient- and family-centered practices and professionalism.
"Following Dr. Bates' example, Arkansas Children's Hospital will be a national leader in the practice of patient safety and in delivering the highest quality of care," ACH Board of Directors Chairman Tom Baxter said, echoing the Center's vision statement. "We will actively partner with families in our processes of care, assuring our status as a high-reliability healthcare organization which provides the right care, at the right time, to each patient."
The Center is inspired by Bates' relentless devotion to doing more to help children. In his 20-year tenure, Bates has focused daily on improving every facet of pediatric health and care delivery - at ACH and across the state. The Center will highlight his legacy by promoting continual improvement in patient safety, effective care, compassionate patient- and family-centered practice and professionalism.
Bates announced details of his retirement as ACH president and CEO before the surprise unveiling of the center and endowed chair on Friday. He will serve at ACH through June 30, 2013, making him the second-longest serving CEO in the hospital's 100-year history. Bates' length of service as an administrator is second only to the storied Ruth Olive Beall. The ACH Board of Directors has hired national executive search firm Witt/Kieffer to assist in finding Bates' successor, who they hope to have in place by July 1, 2013.
Several state and community leaders were on hand for the announcement and to honor Bates' service.
By the time Bates steps down, he will have been at the helm for a fifth of the hospital's century of service to Arkansas. His leadership has led to extensive growth and development on the ACH campus, as well as expansion of accessible health services to children state-wide.
Major milestones during Bates' tenure include the development of a partnership that assesses the health of Arkansas children and offers strategies for improving their wellbeing, Natural Wonders: The State of Children's Health in Arkansas; expansion ranging from two ACH / UAMS Centers for Children outpatient programs in Lowell and Jonesboro to a $121 million, 258,000-square foot patient care wing recently opened in Little Rock; and explosive growth in major grants and federal funding of research conducted on the ACH campus.*
Arkansas Children's Hospital is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving children from birth to age 21. The campus is celebrating 100 years of providing Care, Love and Hope in 2012. Over the past century, ACH has grown to span 29 city blocks and house 370 beds, a staff of approximately 500 physicians, 80 residents in pediatrics and pediatric specialties and more than 4,000 employees. The private, nonprofit healthcare facility boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking medical research - all dedicated to fulfilling our mission of enhancing, sustaining and restoring children's health and development. For more information, visit www.archildrens.org.
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*Editor's note: Please refer to attachment of extensive timeline covering Dr. Bates' tenure at ACH.