Tyson Family Tower in Arkansas Children's Northwest(Springdale) Jan. 6, 2018 –Tonight Arkansas Children’s leadership, lead investors, civic leaders and volunteers celebrated the people, programs and place that is Arkansas Children’s Northwest – the region’s first and only children’s hospital.

During the celebration, Mandy Macke, associate director and secretary for the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, announced a culminating capital campaign gift of $8 million. This is one of the largest gifts ever given by the foundation.

Central to the architecture of Arkansas Children’s Northwest is a brightly lit stairwell spanning the height of the building. “Tonight, it’s my honor to light and name this tower the Pat Walker Beacon of Hope,” said Mandy Macke, associate director and secretary for the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. “May it lead the way for every child and every family who needs Arkansas Children’s Northwest.”

“The Walker name is synonymous with hope and generosity in Arkansas,” said Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. “This incredible philanthropic investment will help fundamentally improve children’s health for generations to come. We are deeply thankful.

“With this generous gift, I’m pleased to announce that in just two years, we have raised $80 million for the capital project, the people and the programs at Arkansas Children’s Northwest,” continued Doderer. “This represents more than 14,000 capital gifts, planned gifts, cash and pledged commitments from more than 8,000 Arkansans. We are humbled and grateful to our friends and investors who have stepped forward with transformational support to improve children’s health.”

The Arkansas Children’s Northwest campus is centrally located on I-49 off Don Tyson Parkway across from Arvest Ballpark. When it opens in the coming weeks, the facility will provide right-sized pediatric inpatient, outpatient and emergency services to the more than 200,000 children who live in Northwest Arkansas.

“Of course, the real winners tonight are the children and families of Northwest Arkansas,” said Fred Scarborough, chief development officer for Arkansas Children’s and president of Arkansas Children’s Foundation. “For the first time, families in this region will have expert pediatric care close to home as part of a statewide network of care designed to reach more children where they live, learn and play.”

Transformational $8 Million Gift Honors Walker Legacy

The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Arkansas Children’s. In 2003, the foundation committed $1 million to support ventilators in the NICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. In 2011, Arkansas Children’s Hospital received a $2 million gift from the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation in support of the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic.

“Mrs. Walker was a strong advocate for children’s health during her lifetime,” said Macke. “She was excited about Arkansas Children’s Northwest and would be very proud of the effort to reach more children in more ways. We are delighted to continue our investment in a healthier tomorrow for all children throughout Arkansas.”

In recognition of the generous $8 million gift, three areas on the campus of Arkansas Children’s Northwest will bear the Walker name:

Pat Walker Beacon of Hope (described above)

Willard Walker Helipad, supporting the highly trained Angel One Transport Team, which transports approximately 350 critically ill and injured children from the 11-county area to Arkansas Children’s Hospital every year.

Pat & Willard Walker Family Outpatient Clinics located on the 3rd floor, providing more than 15 pediatric subspecialties.

“On behalf of our entire family, we make this gift to honor mother and dad,” says Johnny Mike Walker. “I am particularly proud that mother’s name will forever be associated with the Beacon of Hope. She was that beacon for so many people.”

Reaching More Children Where They Live, Learn and Play

Arkansas Children’s Northwest sits on 37 acres of land in Springdale. This $7.5 million gift was donated by Robin and Gary George, Cathy and David Evans and their families.

“Arkansas Children’s Northwest represents visionary leadership, a healthy appetite for risk, a deep dive into this community’s health needs and a resounding commitment from every leader to improve the health of children in Arkansas and beyond,” said Gary George, chairman of George’s, Inc. and a member of the Arkansas Children’s Northwest Board of Directors. “It took a courageous group of leaders from all over the state to lead us where we are today.”

The 233,613 square-foot hospital is the region’s first and only comprehensive pediatric healthcare center. It includes:

  • 24 inpatient beds to care for children requiring overnight stays
  • 24-hour pediatric Emergency Department
  • A state-of-the-art pediatric surgery unit with 5 operating rooms
  • An outpatient clinic with 30 exam rooms supporting more than 20 subspecialty areas and a general pediatric clinic
  • A full range of ancillary and diagnostic services, child-life social work and pastoral care programs
  • Outdoor gardens, nature trails and interactive features designed specifically for children
  • A helipad and refueling station supporting Angel One, one of the nation’s leading pediatric intensive care transport services

On Tuesday, January 9, pediatric subspecialists and therapists will begin seeing patients in The Pat & Willard Walker Family Outpatient Clinics on the third floor of the facility. Due to a tiered-approach to state licensing and certifications, the Emergency Department and inpatient unit will open to the public in the coming weeks.

About Arkansas Children’s

Arkansas Children’s, Inc. is the only health care system in the state solely dedicated to caring for children, which allows the organization to uniquely shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas. The system includes a 336-bed hospital in Little Rock with the state’s only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center, burn center, Level 4 neonatal intensive care and pediatric intensive care, and research institute as well as a nationally-recognized transport service. It is one of the 25 largest children’s hospitals in the United States and is nationally ranked by U.S. News World & Report in cardiology/heart surgery, neurology/neurosurgery, nephrology and pulmonology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale includes 233,613 square feet of inpatient beds, emergency care, clinic rooms and diagnostic services. Arkansas Children’s also blankets the state with outreach programs that include telemedicine, mobile health and school-based health solutions. A private nonprofit, Arkansas Children’s boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking research and is committed to providing every child with access to the best care available, regardless of location or resources. Founded as an orphanage, Arkansas Children’s has championed children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow for more than 100 years. For more info, visit www.archildrens.org.