Schmieding Foundation Gives Arkansas Children's Hospital $1M for Endowed Chair

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 9:53 am  

More than 3,000 patients receive care in the Arkansas Children's Hospital hematology/oncology department each year. (Photo by Jason Burt)

The Schmieding Foundation of Springdale announced Tuesday a $1 million gift to Arkansas Children's Hospital of Little Rock.

The money will create the Lawrence H. Schmieding Endowed Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, the hospital said in a news release.

The endowed chair will provide money for research, clinical support and education advancing the care of cancer and blood disorders patients at ACH.

"We are very grateful to the Schmieding Foundation for providing this special and most generous gift," Dr. Jonathan Bates, the hospital's president and CEO, said in a news release. "An endowed chair is one of the highest academic honors for the holder and assists ACH in attracting and retaining the highest quality physicians. It is a fine way to recognize a remarkable man, Lawrence Schmieding."

The $1 million donation is part of the hospital's "Century of Possibility Centennial Campaign," announced at the hospital's Centennial Celebration on March 5. The goal of the fundraising campaign is to raise $160 million. It has already raised $116 million. 

Schmieding started H.C. Schmieding Produce, a wholesale distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables, in 1961. But he was also known for philanthropy focused on programs for children and the elderly. He died of cancer in 2009.

In 1995, the Schmieding Foundation gave money to create the Schmieding Developmental Center and Schmieding Kids First, which are located in the Centers for Children building in Lowell, a partnership between ACH and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

In 1999, he gave more than $15 million to UAMS to establish the Schmieding Center for Senior Health & Education.

More than 3,000 patients receive care in the ACH hematology/oncology department each year. The hospital treats more than 90 percent of Arkansas children diagnosed with cancer, sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other diseases of the blood, the hospital said.

"We are just so happy we can do this in Lawrence's memory," Helen Schmieding said in a news release. "We want to do anything we can to help children across the state, including those battling cancer and blood disorders. We have the utmost confidence in Arkansas Children's Hospital and we are thrilled to make this gift."

Arkansas Children's Hospital is the only pediatric hospital in the state, serving all 75 counties and taking in patients from many other states.



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