(STATEWIDE, Ark.) June 22, 2021 – As the statewide Campaign for a Healthier Tomorrow comes to a close later this month, Arkansas Children’s Foundation celebrates a $1 million gift from Melanie and Edwin Wells to establish an endowment supporting the CEO Strategic Initiatives Fund at Arkansas Children’s.

As the only pediatric health system in the state, this endowment will ensure Arkansas Children’s executive leaders always have access to the most important tool: the ability to respond quickly to strategic opportunities and dynamic changes in healthcare.

“Melanie and Edwin Wells have a deep commitment to improving child health and their community,” said Fred Scarborough, president of the Arkansas Children’s Foundation. “Endowments, such as theirs, fuel long-term strategic growth and help deliver the best possible care to the children of Arkansas. We are incredibly thankful for this gift and their longtime support.” 

The Wells are longtime supporters of Arkansas Children’s and are active members of the Log A Load For Kids of Arkansas chapter. Since the chapter began in 1991, local volunteer fundraisers have raised more than $10 million for Arkansas Children’s, investing largely in endowments, supporting emergency services and advancing pediatric cardiovascular care. 

“Endowments are an important investment for any organization,” said Edwin Wells. “We are proud to give a gift that will exist in perpetuity and ensure the future of Arkansas Children’s.” 

The Melanie and Edwin Wells Strategic Endowment is designed to support small and large projects. In recent years, the CEO Strategic Initiatives Fund has fueled innovations and advanced key initiatives such as statewide clinics, research and clinical excellence at Arkansas Children’s.

Expanding endowed chairs, research and clinical programs is critical to advancing pediatric care and delivering a healthier tomorrow. Since the Campaign for a Healthier Tomorrow began in 2015, four new endowed chairs have been established at Arkansas Children’s.

Today, Arkansas Children’s celebrates 40 endowed chairs and 329 individually endowed funds with a market value of more than $443 million.

Campaign for a Healthier Tomorrow

The Campaign for a Healthier Tomorrow is a bold $250 million statewide campaign designed to support Arkansas Children’s vision:

Our Promise:
Unprecedented Child Health
Defined and Delivered

By most national measures, Arkansas is one of the least healthy states ranking 40 out of 50 states in child health and well-being. Arkansas Children’s envisions a healthier tomorrow for all 710,000 children in Arkansas—for both our patients and the children who will never walk through the doors of Arkansas Children’s.

Arkansas Children’s invites you to be a champion for children in our state and make a gift to the Campaign for a Healthier Tomorrow before it concludes on June 30. Your generous support helps deliver on the promise of a healthier tomorrow for the children of Arkansas. Join us and make your gift today at giving.archildrens.org or by calling 888-880-7491.


Arkansas Children's, Inc. is the only healthcare system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' more than 700,000 children. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs — all focused on fulfilling a promise to define and deliver unprecedented child health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); the state’s only magnetoencephalography (MEG) system for neurosurgical planning and cutting-edge research; and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Additionally, ACH is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in four pediatric subspecialties (2021—2022): Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Pulmonology and Urology. ACH is one of only five hospitals in the nation that have achieved Magnet Status, ACS Level 1 verification and a Beacon award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the Northwest Arkansas region, is a level IV pediatric trauma center. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and Northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can deliver on its promise of unprecedented child health. To learn more, visit archildrens.org.