(Statewide, Ark.) February 8, 2022 – Arkansas Children’s has received a $2.25 million, four-year commitment from the Windgate Foundation to help support the healthcare system’s nursing recruitment and retention efforts.
“Nurses play a vital role in health systems,” said Pat Forgy, executive director of the Windgate Foundation. “Now, more than ever, we feel it is important to support those taking care of children across the state at Arkansas Children’s.”
This most recent gift will help fund recruitment of talented nursing staff and provide valuable career and educational opportunities to retain the system’s current nursing staff.
“Nurses are an integral part of every child’s care team and are at the core of our ability to provide safe, compassionate, research-informed clinical care,” said Arkansas Children’s President and CEO Marcy Doderer, FACHE. “This incredible investment will allow us to champion more children in more ways across the state of Arkansas in a safer environment.”
For nearly a decade, the United States has been facing a nursing crisis due to healthcare reform, retirement, burnout and a growing population of older adults who require care.
Across the country, hospitals are experiencing a shortage of nurses, including Arkansas Children’s. The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the high RSV season only exacerbated the situation.
In children’s hospitals, these shortages are proven to lead to higher child mortality rates, higher hospital readmission rates and increased infection rates, along with other safety concerns.
Philanthropic support for educational attainment for Arkansas Children’s nurses ensures more nurses can enter the field, earn their BSN or work toward a master’s degree in a specialty area—ultimately providing better care to patients and families.
Having the ability to provide time and resources toward continued education also serves as an important recruiting tool and leads to longevity in nursing careers at Arkansas Children’s due to the opportunities afforded to nurses.
"Nursing is a time-honored, highly specialized profession with a reputation for compassion and dedication. While the profession is constantly evolving, our nation is experiencing an accelerating shortage of nurses. At Arkansas Children’s, the impact from our nurses extends well beyond the walls of our hospitals and clinics,” said Fred Scarborough, president of Arkansas Children’s Foundation. “This gift from the Windgate Foundation will help with recruitment and retention of pediatric nurses as we continue the work of making children better today and healthier tomorrow.”
The Windgate Foundation is a longtime supporter of Arkansas Children’s. To date, the foundation has established an endowment to support child life and education, established an endowment to support pediatric dentistry and made gifts to support the David M. Clark Center for Safe and Healthy Children and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Pine Bluff Clinic.
ABOUT ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S
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.