Alice Walton & Washington Regional create health services system

The partnership will give Northwest Arkansas patients access to specialty services closer to home.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Washington Regional Medical Center is partnering with the Alice L. Walton Foundation and Cleveland Clinic to create a new health care system for patients in Northwest Arkansas.

According to hospital officials, the new health care system will improve services to those in the region. The group formed the initiative after a study highlighted that area residents leave the region to receive specialty care.

This new partnership will increase access to specialty care services, including cardiac care, digestive health, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics/spine and behavioral health, for patients and families closer to home. The regional health system will focus on high-quality and affordable health care for the local community.

“The creation of the regional health system will advance our mission and vision, including expanding our clinical, academic, and operational capabilities, and continuing to invest in our facilities,” said Larry Shackelford, President and CEO of Washington Regional Medical System. “Our mission is to improve the health of area residents through compassionate, high-quality care and wellness education, and to act as the central hub for clinical, educational and research activities in Northwest Arkansas. This partnership provides the resources to take our health care services to the next level to best serve our growing community.”

A partnership with the Whole Health School of Medicine will be established to create a regional academic health system in Northwest Arkansas. There, clinicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and caregivers in the region will learn the skill sets needed to advance in the healthcare industry. 

“This partnership is all about access, ensuring that residents of our thriving region have ready access to world-class health care services, including specialty care,” Alice Walton said. “We’re bringing together three organizations with unique strengths—including Washington Regional’s excellence in serving this community, Cleveland Clinic’s innovative care, and my foundation’s focus on enhancing access—to offer a broader scope and scale of services to our region and beyond.”

Operational plans for the new partnership are currently being developed. The final steps are expected to take place later this year. 

Click here for more information about the new health care system. 

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