New Name, Site Selected For Walton Medical School

The medical school planned by Alice Walton will be named after her and located east of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

The school was founded as the Whole Health School of Medicine in 2021 by Walton, the daughter of Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton. The school’s board of directors voted Wednesday to rename the school the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine.

“We are honored to add Alice L. Walton to the School of Medicine’s name, highlighting our founder’s dedication to reimagining medical education,” Chief Operating Office Walter Harris said. “The school will remain grounded in whole health principles and teaching philosophies, poised to attract the best talent and create a pipeline for a new generation of whole health leaders.”

The school was announced in March 2021 as a companion to Walton’s Whole Health Institute, a center for holistic wellness. The medical school is designed to incorporate the holistic approach to health care foundational to the curriculum.

The site of the school will be on J Street east of Crystal Bridges, the museum Alice Walton founded in 2011. The school will be connected to the Whole Health Institute through a trail system.

The school announced it had selected Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects of Little Rock as the lead architects for the project. The proposed facility is 154,000 SF and construction is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2023; the school hopes to admit its first class of students in 2025.

“The design integrates the building into both the site and the community, engaging the land as an abstraction of Ozark geology that embraces the principles of integrated medicine, and the holistic link between mental, physical, and spiritual well-being,” said Wesley Walls, a principal with Polk Stanley Wilcox.

The design will include four stories that include a library, clinical teaching spaces and a theater. There will be underground parking.

There will be a rooftop park designed by OSD of New York City. There will be access for pedestrians and cyclists, outdoor classrooms, meditation spaces, a cafe and an amphitheater.

“The School of Medicine is poised to be an inspiring learning environment that supports well-being, emphasizes innovation, and equips future physicians to be agents of change,” Walton said. “We are excited to help pave the way for the next generation of holistic physicians and health professionals. This unique, site-responsive building will welcome students, staff, and visitors alike to explore this beautiful campus, serving a broader vision of enhancing quality of life in our region and beyond.”