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Anonymous Donor Gives $1M to Support Arkansas Children’s Expansion

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Arkansas Children’s on Tuesday announced it received a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor to support the health system’s $318 million expansion.

The eight-year project, announced in 2023, will expand bed capacity and transform inpatient and outpatient surgical approaches with the addition of an ambulatory surgery center. It will also redesign clinical spaces to promote multidisciplinary care and create more accessible campuses at the system’s hospitals in Little Rock and Springdale.

The first phase of the project began this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

“This anonymous donor family has been a champion for children for more than three decades, and we are incredibly grateful for their $1 million leadership gift to advance Arkansas Children’s historic expansion,” Fred Scarborough, executive vice president and chief development officer for Arkansas Children’s, said in a statement. “For more than a century, Arkansas Children’s has been able to expand and make significant advances for children across Arkansas and the region, all thanks to support from donors like this generous family.”

The expansion project for both campuses will be paid for with up to $162 million in bonds.

Gifts supporting the project have come from The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, which gave $12.5 million to support the expansion of the Springdale campus; Jim McClelland, chairman emeritus and former CEO of McClelland Consulting Engineers Inc. of Little Rock, and his wife Pat, who pledged $1 million; and the nonprofit Arkansas Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, which has committed $6.25 million.

The project also will add 150 providers — physicians, nurse practitioners, etc. — and another 400 jobs to the Arkansas Children’s system, which has about 5,200 employees.

“We’re building the future together in this next chapter of our story,” Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s, said in a statement. “Children need Arkansas Children’s. This expansion will expand access to pediatric care, enhance exceptional outcomes for kids, and elevate the patient experience on our campuses.”


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