The Conway Regional Health Foundation recently announced the completion of its first major gift campaign, a $10 million funding drive to improve Conway Regional Health System.
The foundation raised the money to complete three capital projects: a 24-bed intensive care unit, the expansion of a clinical laboratory, and a new behavioral health unit at Conway Regional Medical Center, said Maegan Dyson, the foundation’s chief development officer.
Construction on the behavioral health unit is expected to start in October and be completed about 10 months later, she said. The contractor on the project is Nabholz Construction Co. of Conway, and the architect is Cromwell Architects Engineers of Little Rock.
The unit will have between 10 and 12 beds for senior behavioral health services. That service line had been at CRMC, but was transferred to Conway Regional’s hospital in Dardanelle to make room for COVID-19 patients, Dyson said.
Since that time, Conway Regional has opened an 11-bed behavioral health unit for adults.
When construction is completed, CRMC will bring the senior behavioral health unit back to the hospital, Dyson said.
“The community really has a need for more adult health beds, but also for beds that serve everyone, not just people who can afford private-pay, behavioral health facilities,” Dyson said. “Our facility will support anyone in the community, including Medicare and Medicaid patients.”
The money also funded the expansion of Conway Regional’s clinical laboratory, which “increased our lab testing capacity from about 1,500 [tests] per hour to about 2,600 per hour,” she said.
The hospital’s new 24-bed intensive care unit also has room to expand.
In recent years, Conway Regional Medical Center has seen its net patient revenue and income grow. In 2020, Conway Regional Medical Center reported $6.7 million in income on $200.5 million in net patient revenue. In 2021, it reported $11.8 million in income on $231.4 million in net patient revenue, the latest numbers available to Arkansas Business.
Dyson said the fundraising campaign started at the end of 2019, when Conway Regional announced its $60 million capital project. It used bonds to cover a majority of the capital project, but there was a gap in funding that could be filled with private money.
“This was the first true major gift campaign that Conway Regional Foundation had ever done,” said Dyson, who joined the organization in November 2022.
The foundation shifted from annual and event fundraising to a major gift-driven effort, she said.
“And they also recognized the need to go outside of our community and seek grants from foundations that are outside this area,” she said.
The Sunderland Foundation of Overland Park, Kansas, awarded the Conway Regional Health Foundation $2.25 million.
The foundation also received a $1 million matching grant from the Mabee Foundation, which has offices in Tulsa and Midland, Texas.
More than 1,000 Conway Regional employees, doctors and community members helped raise nearly $1 million for the matching funds, Dyson said.
Charles Nabholz, chairman emeritus of Nabholz Construction, and Dr. Michael Stanton, who practices at Conway Regional, were the co-chairs of the fundraising campaign, called the Growing Together Campaign.