Arkansas Children’s Northwest opens in Sprindale

Arkansas Childrens Hospital Northwest recently opened in Springdale. The facility will allow children in NWA to receive medical care without travelling to Little Rock. 
Photo credit: Arkansas Times

Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest recently opened in Springdale. The facility will allow children in NWA to receive medical care without travelling to Little Rock. Photo credit: Arkansas Times

Maggie Hendrix, Reporter

Located in Little Rock, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital has been serving the state’s young patients for decades, but as a parent, KC Tucker told the audience at the March 27 meeting of the Washington County Democratic Women, the three-hour trek to reach medical care for her son’s cancer took a toll. KC spent years, along with many other Northwest Arkansas (NWA) parents, driving to and from Little Rock on a regular basis in order to reach the care her child needed.

Now, however, high-quality pediatric care will be available closer to home for many NWA patients with the opening of Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest. The facility will provide “state of the art medicine for a group of 200,000 children,” according to Kim Dutton of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation. While the Northwest facility will not provide all of the services provided by the Little Rock hospital, Dutton says that it will be expanded over time.

The building was “designed on the theme of discovery and delight” with child-friendly playrooms, outdoor spaces, and medical facilities tailored to serving young patients in order to create a safe and pleasant environment.

According to Dutton, the hospital will not compete with existing medical facilities, but it will instead “come in as an enhancement care and compliment the care that’s already here.” In the case of emergencies that cannot be addressed in NWA, the hospital has a helicopter service to transport patients to Little Rock.

Dutton says that the choice to open a children’s hospital at this point is because NWA has reached 78 children per square mile, a little bit over the standard minimum density to justify opening a facility.

Despite being connected to the Little Rock hospital, Arkansas Children’s Northwest is a separately licensed facility and will have 320 medical personnel on staff along with volunteers. Volunteer opportunities are available following an application, a background check, and an interview to ensure the patients’ safety.

The opening of Arkansas Children’s Northwest will introduce a new level of medical care to NWA’s youth without leaving home. Dutton says that, “we’re going to start where we can really make a difference” and that expansions will come at a later time.

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