story by Sarah E. White, special to The City Wire
LOWELL — Arkansas Children’s Hospital sets the standard for care of children with complex medical issues in the state, but traveling to Little Rock for treatment is a major disruption to the lives of sick children and their families.
The hospital opened the UAMS ACH Centers for Children in 2007 to improve access to pediatric specialty and primary care for patients in Northwest Arkansas. The center, located in Lowell, features 18 subspecialty clinics, ranging from cardiology to genetics, hemophilia to urology.
The center saw 4,000 patients in its first year and had more than 15,500 patient visits in fiscal 2012, according to Lee Anne Eddy, vice president for ambulatory care services at the hospital.
“It means so much to families having access to specialized care closer to home – less time on the road, less time away from work for parents, and less time missed in the classroom for our patients,” Eddy said.
Fundraisers support both Arkansas Children’s Hospital – which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year – and the Centers for Children, and the main events of the year for Northwest Arkansas are approaching.
Will Golf 4 Kids is a two-day golf tournament established by Wal-Mart in 1993. Held at the Kingsdale Golf Complex in Bella Vista, the four-person scramble features morning and afternoon flights and will take place August 9-10. Jennifer Selig, director of development for the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, said there are spots available in all flights except the Friday (Aug. 10) morning session, and sponsorship opportunities are available.
The Color of Hope Gala is Friday (Aug. 10) at 5:30 p.m. at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers. The event includes a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions and live music. Auction items include an eight-night trip to Ireland; a six-night trip to Italy; and packages for the MLB All-Star Game, the 2013 Country Music Awards and the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans.
More than 1,200 people attended the event last year. Tickets are $200 for individuals and $2,000 for a table for 10. This year’s “color of hope” is green. Last year, the events netted $920,000 for Arkansas Children’s Hospital and have contributed more than $10.5 million in the past 18 years, Selig said. The events have raised funds for a new CT scanner and monitors at ACH, a transportation endowment fund and funds for intensive cares services at the hospital. The third floor of the south wing addition to the hospital in Little Rock is named for Will Golf 4 Kids and Color of Hope, and it houses an infant/toddler unit and expanded neonatal intensive care unit.
At the Centers for Children, funds from these events have been used to expand the general pediatric clinic, provide funding for murals throughout the building, purchase laboratory equipment, expand the clinic examination space and provide money for travel and supplies for the doctors, Eddy said.
This year the events are particularly special because of the hospital’s centennial, Selig said.
“At this year’s event(s) we will reflect upon our past, celebrate the miracles of our present, and look forward to the next century of service to children and families in Arkansas and beyond,” she said. “As we celebrate our 100th birthday and look to our second century of service, there has never been a better time to support ACH and rise to the challenge of creating a future of possibility for Arkansas children that is healthier and more promising.”
Learn more about the events here.