Walton's Whole Health Institute Destined for Crystal Bridges Campus

Walton's Whole Health Institute Destined for Crystal Bridges Campus
Alice Walton (File photo)

Alice Walton’s nonprofit Whole Health Institute will be designed by famed Fayetteville architect Marlon Blackwell and will be located on the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

The museum, which Walton founded, made the announcement Monday. Walton, the daughter of Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton, announced she was creating the Whole Health Institute at a Northwest Arkansas Council meeting in January.

Groundbreaking for the 75,000-SF institute will be in spring 2021, and the institute will be located northwest of the museum’s new parking lot on the 120-acre grounds. It is expected to be completed by 2023.

“Earlier this year, we announced the Whole Health Institute with our mission to give everyone access to a transformative approach to health,” said Tracy Gaudet, executive director of the institute. “As our newly formed institution continues to develop, the location on Crystal Bridges’ campus and the design of this building provide an ideal setting for interactive programs that will welcome the community to take charge of their health and well-being surrounded by nature and inspiring works of art.”

The institute will have office and community space and be connected to the Chopra Library. The library is named after Walton’s friend and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra, and it will have a collection of global scientific and global research into health.

“Crystal Bridges and Whole Health Institute are partner organizations with an aligned vision of enriching lives,” said museum Executive Director Rod Bigelow. “We are excited to welcome them to the neighborhood and look forward to exploring the intersection of art, nature, and wellbeing through programs, conversations and collaborations.”

In January, Walton said the idea behind the institute was to use a more holistic medical approach that treated the patient and not just the symptoms of a disease. She said it was a way to fix a “broken” health care system in the United States.