Local health care entities in NWA will receive funds as part of a new philanthropic effort by the Northwest Arkansas Council and businesses from around the region.
NWA Council officials this week announced that over $3 million in funds and supplies collected from donations from J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., RevUnit, Walmart Foundation and Walton Family Foundation will be distributed to support health care organizations in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“This joint effort demonstrates how the Northwest Arkansas community is coming together in a powerful way to respond to an unexpected crisis,” said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “Support from these great partners will allow the region’s health care providers to continue to protect staff, patients and keep our community safe.”
The NWA Council, through its Health Care Transformation Division, coordinated with providers to determine how the funds and supplies would be distributed.
Most of the funds will be used to help increase testing capacity and provide PPE for hospitals across the region. The rest will go wo help support front-line health care workers to ensure there is a stabilized workforce to meet anticipated health care needs.
Local technology company RevUnit created a web-based interface for regional hospitals to track existing cases, bed availability, status of testing and available supplies to ensure regional coordination and cooperation.
“Front-line health care workers across the country are working tirelessly and at risk of running out of supplies and PPE,” said Eric Pianalto, president, Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. “We are grateful for the coordinated effort by the Council that will alleviate these concerns and allow our staff to effectively respond to the community’s health care needs.”
According to the press release about the initiative, the funds are intended to ensure that acute care hospitals in Northwest Arkansas will be able to “maintain a ready workforce and attempt to prevent furloughs of clinical front-line health care workers needed to treat patients infected with COVID-19.”