Springdale's Northwest Health Hopes $12M Facelift Boosts Brand

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 12:00 am  

Northwest Medical Center-Springdale is undergoing a $12 million renovation that will give the landmark facility a like-new sheen, as imagined in the artist rendering above.

Springdale is not getting a new hospital, but it is getting a hospital that will look new.

Northwest Health System’s Springdale facility will remain at the same location at the southeast corner of Thompson Avenue and Maple Street it has occupied for six decades.

The hospital is getting a facelift that administrators hope will improve perception with some local residents.

Portions of a $12 million renovation and expansion, like additional parking, improved waiting room and lobby areas, are already complete. All phases of the project, which adds 30,000 SF and close to doubles available exam rooms, will be finished by June.

Chief Operating Officer Michael Stewart sees the improvements as an opportunity to advance the hospital’s brand in northwest Arkansas.

Think of it as improved curb appeal for the hospital.

“I’ve had business leaders tell me they heard we’re getting a new hospital in Springdale,” Stewart said. “No, there’s been a hospital in Springdale for 60 years, but this increases our visibility and awareness in the community.”

Increased visibility and awareness are important with so many health care options in the area. Northwest Health is one of three medical systems in northwest Arkansas, and Stewart points out there are four other hospitals in Washington and Benton counties. Choices are plentiful, but in the future Stewart wants to be the first choice for locals.

Making Northwest Health System’s Springdale hospital a preferred choice to the city’s 70,000 residents and then in

the surrounding area is among the primary goals Stewart set when he took over as COO a year ago. Stewart estimates — “back of the napkin figures,” he calls them — that the hospital currently has a 50 percent market share, but he’d like to see that grow to 85 percent.

While he admits that is a big goal, Stewart said it gives the staff of 900-plus employees something to work toward each day.

Using a sports analogy to describe his approach to managing the hospital, Stewart likens himself to a new coach taking over a football program with three wins and 10 losses on a 13-game schedule.



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