CHI St. Vincent has scheduled June 14 for the grand opening for its Arkansas Neuroscience Institute in Sherwood, marking the end of a $30 million construction and renovation project.
It involved building the two-story 250,000-SF ANI and renovating CHI St. Vincent North to handle neuroscience procedures. CHI St. Vincent wanted to create “this destination here in Arkansas for a world-class neuroscience institute,” said CHI St. Vincent CEO Chad Aduddell.
“This will be a comprehensive neurological and neurosurgical facility … It’ll be unique in the region.” He said surgeons, fellows and residents from across the globe will be at ANI year-round.
“We have additional physicians from all over the world that are here collaborating with our providers and advancing the … overall neuroscience field,” Aduddell said.
The ANI’s M.G. Yasargil Research & Education Center will focus on improving treatments, mapping the human brain and training neurosurgeons, a CHI St. Vincent news release said.
The day after the grand opening celebration, speakers from 25 countries will be at the ANI for its first international symposium on ultra-micro neurosurgery.
ANI is led by Dr. Ali Krisht, who received the 2019 Herbert Olivecrona Award for his contributions to neurosurgery with expertise in cerebrovascular, pituitary and skull base tumor surgery. The award, commonly referred to as the “Nobel Prize in neurosurgery,” is given annually by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and is named after Olivecrona, who is credited as the father of modern neurosurgery.
The ANI had been at St. Vincent’s campus in Little Rock, but was growing and running out of space. It sees patients from all the counties in Arkansas, 38 states and other countries.
The decision to move ANI to St. Vincent North came a few years ago. CHI St. Vincent’s board, leadership team, physicians and others held planning meetings and determined that it would “focus and invest in areas where we could lead the market,” Aduddell said. One of those areas was its neurosurgery program.
CHI decided to overhaul its 69-bed hospital in Sherwood, which wasn’t at full capacity, and use it for neurosurgery.
For the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017, CHI St. Vincent North had an occupancy rate of 28.1%. It also had $2.3 million in net income on $31.2 million in net patient revenue for that fiscal year.
The refurbishment of the hospital cost $13 million and included adding “state-of-the-art equipment” and a new helipad to give it a new identity, Aduddell said.
It will also have 10 additional intensive care unit beds and a renovated operating room and pharmacy.
ANI’s six neurosurgeons perform more than 1,000 operations a year, which include treating stroke patients and brain tumors and aneurysms.
The move allows ANI’s program to expand its services to include epilepsy surgery and surgery for movement disorders. The number of surgeries is expected to double in a few years. Aduddell said he plans to add four neurosurgeons over the next couple of years to bring the total to 10. “So it’ll be one of the largest programs in the region.”
The ANI features a 150-seat auditorium, labs, a conference room and space for doctor’s offices and eventual growth.
CHI’s parent company, Catholic Health Initiatives of Englewood, Colorado, is paying for most of the project, and CHI St. Vincent reached its $4 million fundraising goal to help with costs. NexCore Group of Denver was the building developer. The architect was Taggart Architects Inc. of North Little Rock, and Clark Contractors LLC of Little Rock was the contractor
The contractor for the renovation at the hospital was Nabholz Corp. of Conway.