Baptist Health Hits 100

Baptist Health Hits 100
Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock

Founded as Baptist State Hospital in a three-story building in downtown Little Rock in 1921, Baptist Health originally could treat 75 patients at full capacity.

Fast forward 100 years and Baptist Health has 11 hospitals, 100 primary and specialty care clinics, 250 points of access and 11,000 employees. The numbers make Baptist Health the state’s most comprehensive health care organization.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021, Baptist Health marked the occasion with ceremonies featuring local dignitaries, a video appearance by former President Bill Clinton (whose daughter Chelsea was born at Baptist) and a lineup of faculty and nursing students modeling uniforms from different periods throughout the hospital’s growth.

“Our 100-year anniversary represents a century of responding to health needs with Christian compassion and personal concern,” Baptist Health President and CEO Troy Wells said. “The story of Baptist Health is the story of people working to advance quality health care for the communities we serve, overcoming challenges to achieve significant developments in health care and being there for every single patient who needs us.”

Baptist Health employees across the system were recognized at events on each medical center campus for their commitment to the health care organization’s mission over the previous century.

“We look forward to the next 100 years of progress and service to improve the health of Arkansans,” Wells said.

Baptist Health
by the Numbers
250 Points of access
11,000+ Employees
11 Hospitals
100 Primary and specialty care clinics
100 Years in service

With that in mind, Baptist Health marked the milestone by noting its mobile health unit, unveiled earlier in the year and provided by the Baptist Health Foundation. The unit is designed to provide free health care services like screenings and prevention education and began its work by making stops across the state to dispense COVID-19 vaccinations.

The unit was funded thanks to Baptist Health’s philanthropic partners, sponsors and donors who raised $600,000 for the purchase and support of the unit.

“The Baptist Health Mobile Health Unit is a prime example of when philanthropy meets purpose, we have the power to improve the health of Arkansans,” said Cathy Owen, chair of the Baptist Health Foundation board of trustees.

Wells also announced the “Give 100” campaign, launched to encourage employees to volunteer 100 hours of time in the ensuing year. He noted that in the previous 15 months, close to one in four Arkansas patients hospitalized for COVID-19 were treated at Baptist Health Facilities.

“The story of Baptist Health is really about people,” Wells said.

Dignitaries in attendance at the 100th anniversary celebration included Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick and representatives from the offices of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Sen. John Boozman and U.S. Rep. French Hill.

“Medicine and health care have changed, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the compassion of the staff and volunteers,” Clinton said in his video remarks.