FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — During the 15th annual Gala of Hope, Arkansas Children’s received a donation of $25 million from the Willard and Pat Walker Foundation.
“It’s a game changer for Arkansas Children’s Northwest,” said Marcy Doderer, President and CEO of Arkansas Children’s.
This is the largest single donation made by the foundation.
Back in May, the hospital announced it is expanding both hospitals in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas. Marcy Doderer is the CEO and president of Arkansas Children’s. She hopes the donation will help bring more medical resources to the community.
“[It will] Help us put together great recruitment packages to bring those physicians to our town. But they also help us put together retention efforts the services that those physicians need, the equipment, the space, the teams that they bring around them, whether it’s nurses or pharmacists or whatever, so that they can deliver great care here,” said Doderer.
From the investment, $12.5 million will support a new Springdale wing of the hospital. The expansion’s focus areas are orthopedics, urology, gastroenterology, and ear, nose, and throat.
The remaining will create an endowment to help meet the needs of children in the region. Mandy Macke is the executive director for the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. She says this donation was to honor Pat Walker.
“Pat was such an advocate for her community, but especially children, and Arkansas Children’s have a special place in her heart. So with this gift of $25 million, we’re able to help grow and expand the services right here in Springdale for the people of Northwest Arkansas and that’s important,” said Macke.
Along with the donation, there was another surprise in store.
“With this gift, Arkansas Children’s is renaming the campus, the Pat Walker Campus and that’s really exciting for the foundation and the family,” said Macke.
According to a news release from Arkansas Children, the donation will “further transform child health in Northwest Arkansas.”