BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On Thursday, June 30, the Whole Health School of Medicine announced a name change to reflect its founder, Alice Walton, and her commitment and plans for a state-of-the-art medical education facility in Bentonville.

Founded in 2021 by philanthropist Alice Walton, the School of Medicine, (formerly named Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences), will offer a four-year, medical degree-granting program that integrates conventional medicine with holistic principles and self-care practices.

A press release says the first-of-its-kind medical school will help students “rise to the health challenges of the 21st century” with a focus on mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health and will include an attached clinic for clinical training in these concepts.

The School of Medicine seeks to be a national medical school with the goal of welcoming its inaugural class in 2025, pending programmatic and institutional accreditation.

“We are honored to add Alice L. Walton to the School of Medicine’s name, highlighting our founder’s dedication to reimagining medical education,” said Walter Harris, Chief Operating Officer for Alice L. Walton School of Medicine. “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 says the curriculum will include “rigorous training” in whole health, humanities, integrative health approaches, research methods, and cutting-edge technologies, with a unique focus on interprofessional collaboration, mental health, social determinants of health, and nutrition.

Officials note equity, diversity, and inclusion will be high-priority areas. The School will support students, faculty, and staff, not only learning about self-care but also emphasizing it in their own lives.

The building design features four levels and will include learning halls and small group rooms, a library, clinical teaching spaces, administrative offices, a student lounge, theater, recreation and wellness areas, and more. Underground parking, as well as an entry-level parking area for visitors,

Concept art of the facility can be found below:

Arkansas-based firm Polk Stanley Wilcox has been selected as the lead architect for the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine building project. Currently, in the design development phase, construction of the 154,000-square-foot building will begin in Spring 2023, with the goal of completing and welcoming the first class in Fall 2025, pending accreditation.