- Washington Regional Medical Center opened as Washington County Hospital in 1950 as an acute care facility with 50 beds on the corner of College Avenue and North Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In August 2002, the new Washington Regional Medical Center opened with 233 beds on North Hills Boulevard.
Throughout the years Washington Regional has maintained its place as a progressive leader in healthcare in Northwest Arkansas. Today, the medical center is part of a comprehensive health care system that includes North Hills Surgery Center, Dialysis Centers of NWA and a network of clinics and services in Northwest Arkansas.
Washington Regional Medical Center is the region's only not-for-profit; community owned and locally governed hospital.
Washington Regional Medical Center Timeline
Washington Regional also operated the 1125 North College facility which included several ancillary departments.
Washington Regional broke ground for a new medical office building which would be adjacent to the Walker Heart Institute.
2004 Washington Regional held grand opening for New Center for Health Services. This building connected by a skywalk to the Heart Institute provides convenience for cardiac patients and physicians. Dedication of the "Words for Healing" fountain, designed by local artist Hank Kaminsky, was held in tribute to the Walker family.
Hospital opened a new lab facility at the Center for Health Services.
2005 Washington Regional selected Cerner as Clinical Information Systems provider to modernize the delivery of care by unifying its clinical, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, and surgery departments through the use of electronic health records. Implementation was to span over three years with the first phase beginning August 2005.
Based on growth and market projection, WRMC began plans for an expansion to include a new patient floor, an expanded emergency department, a senior health center, expanded kitchen, warehouse and storage space, pharmacy and an administrative services building to consolidate all support services to the North Hills campus.
Washington Regional announced the development of services to improve healthcare for adults aged 65+ with the new Washington Regional Clinic for Seniors. The clinic included the addition of three clinicians to its team of medical practitioners, two fellowship trained geriatricians and a fellowship trained neuropsychologist.
WRMC installed the Vocera Communication System, featuring a lightweight wearable badge that enables instant voice communication over a wireless network.
Washington Regional implemented a Smoke Free Campus.
A new Intensivist Program was instituted in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit. Physicians who specialize in caring for critically ill patients, (Intensivists), coordinate the care provided by nurses, respiratory therapists and others, as needed by the patient.
WRMC opened a new inpatient unit (ACE, Acute Care of the Elderly) designed for the care of the older patient.
WRMC began a Rapid Response Team (T-Rex, Team Response to Extremes), the first one in Northwest Arkansas. This team was established to identify potential patient problems before they become actual problems.
Washington Regional announced a $4 million gift from the Walker Family Foundation - the largest gift Washington Regional has ever received.
New Senior Specialty Unit, formally known as ACE unit, opened on the new 5th floor. WRMC was the first hospital in NWA to offer a specialized inpatient unit to care for aging population.
Washington Regional began construction of the Springdale Center for Health which will offer a women's clinic, outpatient imaging and lab services along with other medical specialties.
- 2008 Pat Walker Center for Seniors opened with a community wide celebration honoring Ms. Pat Walker and the Walker Family. The 38,000 square foot Center houses the following services: Washington Regional Clinic for Senior Health; Washington Regional Memory Clinic, specializing in memory disorders; the Parkinson's disease Clinic, for patients with advanced Parkinson's or Huntington's disease; the newly relocated and expanded Center for Exercise, now fully accessible to individuals with handicaps. Services include a warm-water swimming pool, heated therapy pool, and state-of-the art fitness and weight equipment; The Education Center which houses a health resource library and a large conference room designed to host community events for seniors; and the offices of Faith in Action, a volunteer-based, non-profit organization that provides non-medical services to homebound seniors.
Washington Regional completed the $64 million construction project. (Expanded Emergency Department, new Center for Support Services, new fifth floor, new Pat Walker Center for Seniors, relocated and expanded pharmacy. and expanded and renovated kitchen.)
WRMC held a dedication ceremony for the Bodenhamer Chapel located on the new fifth floor. A stained glass mural inspired by the giant elm tree on the campus was presented.
WRMC installed a $1.6 million cardiac imaging system in the cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab) department located within the Walker Heart Institute
The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation pledged to provide $2 million to Washington Regional Hospice to support the development of a new inpatient hospice facility.
Fayetteville City Hospital Auxiliary marked the 100th anniversary of its founding.
- 2010 Washington Regional Hospice broke ground on a 12-bed inpatient facility at 325 E. Longview St. near Washington Regional Medical Center.
The Society of Chest Pain Centers granted Washington Regional full accreditation as a Chest Pain Center, after a meticulous evaluation of its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
Washington Regional’s Walker Heart Institute introduced transradial catheterization, a less-invasive approach for both diagnostic and interventional heart catheterization procedures.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a Silver Medal to Washington Regional for its success in increasing the number of organs available for lifesaving transplants. Washington Regional was the only area hospital to be recognized for achieving and sustaining national organ donation goals, including a donation rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors.
- 2011 Washington Regional opened its Total Joint Center, a comprehensive program that provides specialized education and a team of surgeons and staff focused exclusively on recovery and rehabilitation of joint replacement patients.
Washington Regional achieved Stage 6 on the global electronic medical record adoption model, one of just 214 hospitals out of 5,000 nationwide who had reached that stage by June 2011. Washington Regional was an early adopter of electronic medical record technology, having invested more than $25 million in its program since 2005.
U.S. News & World Report named Washington Regional one of the nation’s “118 Most Connected” hospitals and a leader in using electronic medical record technology and providing quality care.
Washington Regional became the only hospital in Arkansas approved by the Huntington Study Group Credential Committee to conduct clinical research on Huntington’s disease, an inherited, degenerative brain disorder. Dr. Alan Diamond, director of Washington Regional’s Movement Disorder Center, was selected to lead the research.
Washington Regional achieved designation as a NICHE hospital. NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) is the only national designation indicating a hospital’s commitment to elder care excellence.
The Willard Walker Hospice Home opened, greatly expanding the services of Washington Regional Hospice. In a tranquil, homelike setting with outdoor living areas and natural lighting, the 12 patient rooms in the 24,500-square-foot facility are designed as two-room family suites, each with access to a terrace or patio. Washington Regional Hospice provides an all-registered nurse staff at the Willard Walker Hospice Home, as well as a full-time board-certified hospice and palliative care physician.
Washington Regional was named one of the nation’s top performers on key quality measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accrediting agency of healthcare organizations in the U.S. Washington Regional was recognized by The Joint Commission based on data reported about evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care. Washington Regional was the only area hospital to earn this distinction.
- 2012 Washington Regional Medical Center was named one of the nation’s Best Regional Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Washington Regional was the only area hospital to be recognized by the publication.
Fayetteville City Hospital celebrated the 100th anniversary of its opening.
- 2015 Washington Regional broke ground on a new Women's Center, including renovation of existing space as well as construction of a 100,000+-square-foot, five-story tower on the west side of the campus adjoining the existing women’s center. The total project will encompass:
- Additional operating room space
- A significantly larger neonatal intensive care unit, increasing from 12 to 34 NICU beds
- New pediatrics space
- More adult patient rooms to meet increasing patient volumes
- Additional clinic space
- A second helipad on top of the tower’s fifth floor
- Approximately 350-space parking garage for patient convenience
- 68 private rooms designed for rooming-in (four of which will accommodate multiples/twins).
- 2015 Washington Regional Medical Center became the first healthcare provider in its primary service area – Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties – to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers.