Tyson Foods Inc. and the Tyson family are providing a $15 million gift to Arkansas Children's Northwest.
The gift, which was announced Tuesday by John Tyson, Barbara Tyson and Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith is the single largest gift provided so far to the children's hospital that's under construction in a western area of Springdale near Interstate 49. The 37-acre campus is near Arvest Ballpark.
“The Tyson family and Tyson Foods have a long history of investing in the future of Springdale and Northwest Arkansas,” said John Tyson, the company's chairman of the board. “We’re proud to continue that legacy with this gift to Arkansas Children’s Northwest.”
Barbara Tyson is a member of the Tyson Foods Board of Directors.
“A children’s hospital in Northwest Arkansas has been a dream of this community for more than a decade,” she said. “We are honored to be a part of this historic project.”
The gift will be used to help establish the Tyson Family Tower at Arkansas Children’s Northwest. The tower will anchor the new facility, which will include 233,613 square feet for inpatient beds, emergency care, diagnostic services and clinical space. The hospital will have 24 inpatient beds and there's a need to raise $184 million for the project over the next five years.
“At Tyson Foods, we value each and every shareholder, customer and team member,” Smith said. “This investment in pediatric healthcare is a reflection of that commitment, as our team members and their families will benefit directly from having Arkansas Children’s Northwest right here in Northwest Arkansas.”
“This gift will transform healthcare for children in the region and create a wellness destination for families for generations to come,” said Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. "To have the Tyson name attached to this project demonstrates what an impact this facility will have on the area. It's a testament to the outstanding legacy of this remarkable family and company."
With the Tyson Foods and Tyson family gift, the Northwest Arkansas community has pledged $45.5 million for the construction of Arkansas Children’s Northwest. The hospital is scheduled to open in January 2018.
Tyson Foods has a long history of providing grants and gifts to organizations that support weather disaster relief and hunger relief. It also regularly provides grants for other projects, including those that focus on education and the environment. The company pays for Honor Flights that take World War II veterans to visit memorials in Washington, D.C.