Small Hospital Finalist: CHI St. Vincent Morrilton


If ever there was a little hospital that could, it’s CHI St. Vincent Morrilton, the small-town health system that stacks up against institutions several times its size, thanks to its focus on quality and access to sister facilities all along the CHI St. Vincent network.

“CHI St. Vincent Morrilton has provided quality, convenient care to its community for decades,” said Leslie “Bubba” Arnold, president. “Being part of CHI St. Vincent Health System means that the community has direct access to many centers of excellence like the Jack Stephens Heart Institute, the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute, The Longevity Center at CHI St. Vincent and system-wide integrated emergency services.”

The 90-year-old hospital has been recognized by Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care for its initiatives improving patient safety and quality of care.

“CHI St. Vincent Morrilton has a history of leading the way in health care and challenging others to follow,” Arnold said. “Our internal initiatives include strict adherence to government mandates surrounding patient care, quality and safety.”

The health system’s commitment to quality and patient safety is assisted by the work of a Patient Advisory Council, which enlists patients and families as partners in a person-centered safety culture by creating a consistent forum for collaboration. The mission is to establish a forum for patients and families to bring together their experience, expertise, insights and perspectives as catalysts for transformational change in health care and enhance safety and quality.

The Benedictine sisters at St. Scholastica Monastery established what would become CHI St. Vincent Morrilton as a 14-bed hospital, December 4, 1925. In November 1965, Conway County voters approved a $650,000 bond issue, Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller donated $50,000 and federal funds were secured to build the current hospital, opened as St. Anthony’s Medical Center, April 4, 1970.

Initially, only emergency, maternity and surgical services were provided. Today, services include urology, intensive care, laboratory services, orthopaedics, radiology and imaging, rehabilitation, sleep lab services and wound care.

Last year, the hospital christened a newly renovated and expanded emergency department that has more than doubled the number of emergency exam rooms with nine all-private rooms. The $1.5 million project expanded the emergency department from 2,800 to 7,000 SF.

“Our plans for the future growth of CHI St. Vincent Morrilton include the addition of MRI, digital mammography and ultrasound technologies,” Arnold said. “The current telemedicine program, used by CHI St. Vincent hospitalists, will be expanded to include endocrinology and pulmonary services, as well.”

Highlights/awards:

» 90 years of serving the community and surrounding area

» Physician expertise includes family and general practice, general surgery, and internal medicine.

» Services include emergency, general surgery, urology, intensive care, laboratory services, orthopaedics, outpatient/same-day surgery, radiology and imaging, rehabilitation, sleep lab services and wound care.

» Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care Certificate of Achievement Award for hospital quality measurement

» Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care Innovator Healthcare Award for patient care and safety.