With a $5 million gift from the Walmart Foundation announced last week, the Mercy Health Foundation reached a total of $15 million raised toward the expansion of its hospital and clinics.
The foundation set a goal of raising $25 million for the expansion, which is expected to total $277 million when the seven-story hospital tower now under construction is complete in August 2019. Mercy will also add seven new clinics as part of its “Opening Doors” campaign to increase access to health care in Northwest Arkansas.
“We are grateful for Walmart’s investment in enhanced health care programs and services,” said Mary Zettle, chair-elect of the Mercy Health Foundation Board. “This gift will help Mercy remain true to its mission of serving the health care needs of everyone, especially those who are the most vulnerable in our community.”
Foundation Chair Tom Hauge echoed her sentiments.
"By generously investing in local health care services, as well as other critically important quality-of-life enhancements, Walmart continues to set a leading example for other companies in Northwest Arkansas,” he said.
Mercy Hospital President Eric Pianalto said the gift helps buoy an important economic development project, as well. Mercy expects to add 1,000 jobs to the area, including 100 new providers, by the time the expansion wraps up.
“We’re grateful for the continuing support of the Walmart Foundation, which has been a great friend to Mercy for decades,” Pianalto said.
Projects still underway during the expansion include the hospital tower, which will add 100 beds initially and more as floors are built out. Mercy Clinic Springdale, a $40 million multispecialty clinic, will add nearly two dozen primary care and specialty providers in an underserved area at the intersection of Elm Springs Road and 48th Street. The clinic is expected to open around the same time as the hospital tower, in August 2019.
Mercy plans to open a $4.1 million clinic in north Bentonville at the beginning of September. The 14-exam room clinic at 1401 N. Walton Blvd. will house four providers and bring the number of Mercy Clinics in Bentonville to seven.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2018, 2017 and 2016 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.
The primary mission of the Mercy Health Foundation is to secure financial support enabling Mercy to provide affordable, quality healthcare in a faith-based environment to every individual, regardless of financial means.