has announced an $8 million gift from the to establish the first children's hospital in the northwest Arkansas.
The gift, which caps a successful $80 million capital campaign, will support construction of . The 200,000-square-foot facility will have twenty-four inpatient beds for children who require overnight stays; a twenty-four-hour emergency department; a pediatric surgery unit with five operating rooms; an outpatient clinic with thirty exam rooms supporting more than twenty 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; and a helipad and refueling station to support Angel One, a leading pediatric intensive care transport service.
In recognition of the gift, three areas on the new hospital campus, which is expected to open within the next few weeks, will bear the Walker name, including the Pat Walker Beacon of Hope, a brightly lit stairwell that spans the height of the hospital building; the Willard Walker Helipad; and the Pat & Willard Walker Family Outpatient Clinics, which will provide the services of more than fifteen pediatric subspecialties.
The Walker Foundation has long been a supporter of Arkansas Children's. In 2003, the foundation gave $1 million to provide ventilators for the hospital's the neonatal intensive care unit, and in 2011 the hospital received a $2 million gift from the foundation in support of its Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic.
"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," said Arkansas Children's president and CEO Marcy Doderer. "This represents more than fourteen hundred capital gifts, planned gifts, cash, and pledged commitments from more than eight thousand Arkansans. We are humbled and grateful to our friends and investors who have stepped forward with transformational support to improve children's health."