Arkansas Children’s Hospital Celebrates 100th Birthday, Announces Campaign

Fundraising campaign will raise $160 million to support pediatric care, research, education and prevention programs at the hospital

MARCH 5, 2012 - Today, on its 100th birthday, Arkansas Children's Hospital launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history. The "Century of Possibility" Centennial Campaign will raise $160 million to fund four priority areas essential to creating a healthier and more promising future for children: pediatric care, research, education and prevention.

During the hospital's birthday celebration event, officials announced that the campaign has so far raised $100 million.

"As we contemplate this past century, the word possibility comes to mind," said Sharon Bale, grateful grandparent of an ACH patient and member of the ACH Foundation board of directors. "When we envision our future, we do not know how it will unfold, but we must believe in all that is possible. We are thrilled that $100 million has already been raised toward the $160 million goal of the Century of Possibility Fundraising Campaign."

Funds from the campaign will be directed to priority areas and programs at the hospital, including expansion of facilities, innovative research, training and education and injury prevention programs.

"While we are doing an excellent job of caring for sick and injured children when they come to the hospital, we must also focus on ensuring they are healthy enough to never need the hospital," said Dr. Jonathan Bates, president and CEO of ACH.

The birthday event was attended by more than 600 people. During the celebration event, many congratulations were extended to the hospital, including those of President Bill Clinton.

"Hillary, Chelsea and I are grateful to Arkansas Children's Hospital for all it has done to serve children and families, including ours," President Clinton said.  "I am proud to honor one of America's most respected children's health care facilities, which is improving the lives of children and families from not only Arkansas, but throughout the world."

Century of Possibility Fundraising Campaign

The fundraising campaign, which is the largest in the hospital's history, began in July 2007 and will continue through 2014.

"This is the 100th year of Arkansas Children's Hospital and our fundraising efforts are to both celebrate that fact and to maintain our momentum as we continue to strive for excellence," said Charlie Whiteside, member of the ACH and ACH Foundation boards of directors, following the celebration. "It gives me great pleasure that nearly $21 million has been raised from the 'family' first - our board members, employees, physicians and faculty - which is a great endorsement of the hospital's mission and goals."

Arkansas Children's Hospital has recruited a group of community leaders serving as the Campaign Cabinet to ensure the campaign's success: Sharon and John Bale, Ron Clark, Dorsey Jackson, Carol and Witt Stephens, Kirk Thompson, Debbie Walker and Charlie Whiteside.

Celebrating 100 Years of Care, Love and Hope

In its infancy, Arkansas Children's Hospital was a safe haven for orphaned, neglected and abused children when it began in 1912 as the Arkansas Children's Home Society. In the decades since, the hospital has matured into one of the most renowned and respected pediatric hospitals in the country.

Through many ups and downs along the way, ACH has continued to build and expand since opening the first hospital in 1926. A true turning point in the growth and overall future of ACH came in the 1970s, when financial issues presented the very real possibility that ACH might need to close entirely or move from its current location. Hospital directors and administrators held strong in their belief that Arkansas Children's Hospital needed to remain open and at its current site. Since that time, construction crews have rarely left the campus.

The Century of Possibility Campaign will partially fund the latest and largest in a long line of construction projects at ACH, the South Wing, which is set to open in July 2012 - bringing with it many patient and family-focused care advancements with which to begin the next century of care.

For more information about the Century of Possibility Campaign, please visit www.giving.archildrens.org. For more information about the hospital's Centennial, please visit www.ach100.org.

Arkansas Children's Hospital is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving children. The campus spans 28 city blocks and houses 316 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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