Arkansas Children’s has announced an eight-year plan and nearly $318 million in expansions for its hospitals in Little Rock and Springdale.
“Pediatric health care needs are more complex than ever before and we are committed to providing the highest levels of access and quality of health care for the children and families across the state,” said Arkansas Children’s President and CEO Marcy Doderer, FACHE. “This plan includes recruiting more than 100 new providers and 400 new team members, adding new programs, and building and modernizing facilities.”
Construction is underway at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock and Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW) in Springdale. The system-wide expansion plan will expand bed capacity, transform inpatient and outpatient surgical approaches with the addition of an ambulatory surgery center, redesign clinical spaces to promote multidisciplinary care, and create an inviting and accessible campus experience.
No work is planned in the southern half of Arkansas.
Polk Stanley Wilcox and Cromwell are the architects of record, and Nabholz will serve as construction manager for the project.
“We are very early in the process and are involving several working groups and partners in this effort. We will take our time and do this right with our team and with the community,” said Jamie Wiggins, Chief Operating Officer of Arkansas Children. “This has always been the state’s child health system and we will honor our partners in this process.”
Planning and engineering teams are finalizing proposals for the improvements, but estimate 265,000 new square feet of facilities and an additional renovation to cover more than 170,000 square feet.
Detailed schedules will be shared in the fall.
“For more than a century, Arkansas Children’s has been writing the story of advanced pediatric care, expanding access and delivering excellence as we evolve from an orphanage to a hospital to a pediatric health system,” said Arkansas Children’s President and CEO Marcy Doderer . “We are building the future together in this next chapter in our story. The result will define excellence and ensure a healthier future for the children of Arkansas and the region.”
The investment follows a significant expansion of the health system’s regional clinics since 2018, adding capacity for specialty care in Jonesboro, the opening of a primary care clinic in Pine Bluff, the opening of Arkansas Children’s Northwest and the introduction of additional care spaces in Springdale .
By 2022, Arkansas Children’s will help 169,000 children — more children than ever before — and the need for help continues to grow.
Team members heard about the project directly from Doderer, who showed a video previewing the project during a series of open town halls. “I’ve worked in this organization for decades and I think we’ve always tried to listen to the community and meet the needs of our patients and families,” said Lea Woodrow, a 45-year-old veteran nurse and team member. “It’s hard to put into words how excited I am that we’re going this way. It will be such a difference maker.
“Every child deserves timely access to quality pediatric health care,” said Shannon Hendrix, chief executive of Arkansas Children’s Northwest. “Comprehensive services will reach children in every corner of the state and far into the region. A new generation of care begins in these new world-class facilities.”