Children's Surgery Verification Logo.LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Jan. 23, 2024) – Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) offers surgical services meeting the most rigorous standards for safety and quality, according to a repeat designation awarded by the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

The ACS Children’s Surgery Verification Program verified ACH as a Level 1 Surgery Center – the highest designation a hospital can receive – for providing excellent quality children’s surgical care. The ACS Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program has recognized just 70 programs in the nation with this distinction, distinguishing children’s surgical programs where quality improvement efforts have measurably improved surgical standards and prevented complications, reduced costs and, most importantly, saved lives.

By providing this specialized standard of care, ACH creates better outcomes for children, improved safety protocols and a standardized quality of care across the many crucial facets of children’s surgery. The renewed Level 1 verification, awarded for the first time to ACH in 2019, will be valid for three years.

“This distinction is a campus-wide effort, with teams across many services collaborating to ensure Arkansas Children’s Hospital provides the highest quality surgical care for children,” said Rick Barr, MD, executive vice president and chief clinical and academic officer for Arkansas Children’s. “Right-sized care delivered in an environment committed to safety and quality ensures each child can leave our care ready to reach their highest potential.”

To become a verified center, ACH met essential criteria for staffing, training, and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to appropriately care for children who have surgery. After submitting an application, centers seeking verification undergo an extensive site visit by an ACS team of surveyors. The surveyor teams consist of experienced children's surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses who review the center's structure, process and clinical outcomes data.

Verified centers also participate in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of their processes and outcomes, thus identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.


Arkansas Children's 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. Arkansas Children’s is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in seven pediatric subspecialties (2023—2024): Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nephrology, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Urology. 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