Mercy has announced that it will be investing $500 million into the second phase of its health care expansion in Northwest Arkansas. The projects in this phase include a cancer center, emergency department and isolation room expansion, additional clinic locations, more outpatient care facilities and the ability to nearly double the current number of primary care physicians and specialists.
“Phase two advances Mercy’s long-standing commitment to a growing Northwest Arkansas community and how we better serve patients in the way they want to experience personalized health care, close to home,” Ryan Gehrig, president of Mercy Arkansas, said. “This is also a continuation of our dedication to low-cost, high-quality care, a value we have provided Arkansas families and businesses for decades.”
The $500 million investment will bring the hospital’s total commitment to NWA to almost $1 billion, in less than a decade. Mercy announced its $300 million phase one of this in 2016. Phase one included a 275,000-square-foot patient tower, 1,000 new health care jobs and both primary care and specialty clinics in both Benton and Washington counties.
The U.S. Census Bureau ranked NWA as the sixth-fastest growing mid-size metro area in the nation, and the continued growth of Mercy is critical to its mission of meeting the needs of the community they serve. In phase two, Mercy plans to deliver many resources that are needed with the significant growth of the region, this includes the state-of-the-art cancer center.
“We have been planning to add a comprehensive cancer center in Northwest Arkansas for many years,” Scott Cooper M.D., president of Mercy Clinic Northwest Arkansas, said. “Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, and we need more cancer care resources in the region. Mercy provides faith-based, compassionate care close to home so Northwest Arkansas patients have the support of family and friends they need when receiving care.”
Mercy Northwest Arkansas is renowned, having received multiple awards recognizing its service and commitment to patient care, quality and safety. Mercy has received six straight A’s from the Leapfrog Group, been named top hospital by Fortune/IBM Watson Health and five-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“Mercy continues to honor the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy, who arrived in Arkansas in 1850 to care for the sick and poor, by expanding access to health care in our region,” Eric Pianalto, chief strategic growth officer for Mercy Arkansas, said. “My new role in strategic growth gives me the exciting opportunity to work with our leadership team to expand hospital services, clinic locations and recruit the primary care and specialty physicians we need to meet the growing demands of Mercy’s Arkansas communities.”
Here is a list of recently completed projects by Mercy in the state:
- A $141 million, seven-story hospital tower in Rogers that provides space for expanded neonatal care, the McMillon Family Heart Unit, additional pediatric care and more
- A multi-specialty clinic in Springdale with a 24-hour ER
- Six clinics in Northwest Arkansas
- A 22-bed dedicated orthopedic and spine unit
- A new inpatient rehabilitation unit
- Expanded neurology care for patients in both Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith
- A $162.5 million emergency room and intensive care unit expansion underway in Fort Smith (expected completion date in late 2024)
- A rehabilitation hospital in Fort Smith
- A $42 million orthopedic hospital in Fort Smith, featuring 24 beds and 24-hour patient care
“Community support is extremely valuable for plans like this,” Clark Ellison, vice president of Mercy Health Foundation in Northwest Arkansas, said. “Mercy will pursue philanthropic partnerships with community leaders, businesses, foundations and friends, and together we will further enhance community access to state-of-the-art equipment, technology and programs for families across the region. This initiative is a transformational opportunity that we believe the community will want to support. So, we welcome additional contributions that will help us meet the needs of the community even beyond what is currently planned.”
For more information about Mercy Arkansas, visit its website.