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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 current Washington Regional Medical Center opened with 233 beds and 345,000 square feet of space on Northhills Boulevard. Since that time, the medical center has grown to more than 724,000 square feet and is licensed for 425 beds.

Throughout the years, Washington Regional has maintained its place as a health care leader in Northwest Arkansas and has grown to comprise an impressive network of world-class health care services. 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 throughout Northwest Arkansas. Washington Regional Medical System is Northwest Arkansas’ largest health care provider and is a community-owned, locally governed, non-profit organization.


  • U.S. News & World Report named Washington Regional the top hospital in the Ozarks Region and recognized Washington Regional for high performing care in four areas – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement.
  • The Washington Regional Medical Foundation launched a campaign for a new Cancer Support Home.
  • The Walker Heart Institute performed its first transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, procedure, which is a minimally invasive procedure used to replace a diseased heart valve.
  • Washington Regional earned the Governor’s Quality Award for Performance Excellence which recognizes organizations that engage in continuous quality improvement. The Performance Excellence award is the highest level of recognition in the Governor’s Quality Award program.
  • Washington Regional opened a 20-bed Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit, the first in Northwest Arkansas.
  • The Women and Infants Center transitioned the in-patient pediatric unit to Arkansas Children’s Northwest and partnered with the hospital to provide care for newborns who need services of the Washington Regional NICU and children under four months of age with specific diagnoses.
  • Washington Regional became the first hospital in Arkansas to achieve designation as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
  • William L. Bradley Medical Plaza opened
  • Washington Regional launched a four-year core renewal project designed to facilitate growth and expand its facilities.
  • Women and Infants Center opened, including two leading women's health clinics, 28 private mother-baby rooms, an infant nutrition lab and the area's largest NICU.
  • 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.
  • Washington Regional opened its Total Joint Center, which focuses exclusively on helping joint replacement patients maintain their functional independence and improve their quality of life.
  • 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.
  • Washington Regional’s Walker Heart Institute introduced transradial catheterization, a less-invasive approach for both diagnostic and interventional heart catheterization procedures.

  • The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation pledged $2 million to Washington Regional Hospice to support the development of a new inpatient hospice facility.
  • Pat Walker Center for Seniors opened with a community wide celebration honoring Ms. Pat Walker and the Walker Family. 
  • Washington Regional completed a $64 million expansion project, including a larger Emergency Department, new Center for Support Services, new fifth floor, new Pat Walker Center for Seniors, an expanded pharmacy, and expanded and renovated kitchen.
  • Washington Regional announced a $4 million gift from the Walker Family Foundation - the largest gift Washington Regional had ever received.
  • Washington Regional opened the Center for Health Services, which serves 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.
  • Washington Regional broke ground for a new medical office building adjacent to the Walker Heart Institute.
  • New Washington Regional Medical Center, encompassing 345,000 square feet, opened on August 27, 2002. 300 physicians were on the medical staff. The new facility included the Johnelle Hunt Women's Center and the Walker Heart Institute

  • Groundbreaking for new Washington Regional Medical Center facility at Northhills Boulevard began.
  • Cancer Support Home in Fayetteville opened.
  • Open-heart surgery started at Washington Regional.
  • Renovation of 6th floor (women's unit) to accommodate an increasing number of women seeking services was completed.
  • Washington Regional and Fayetteville City Hospital announced an agreement to share operating room space at City Hospital, to help ease the volume of surgeries performed at Washington Regional's main facility.

  • Center for Exercise opened at a facility at Township and Gregg streets.
  • Sleep Disorder Center opened, one of only 100 in the U.S. at the time.
  • Washington Regional Hospice became first Medicare-certified hospice program in Arkansas.
  • New neurological floor and intensive care step-down unit opened, adding 22 beds for a total of 272.
  • Completion of the East Tower expansion ended with the 6th Floor opening for operation, adding 44 obstetric and gynecological beds.
  • Emergency Department became a Level II Trauma Center.

  • The East Tower opened on July 16, 1978. The expansion of the East Tower included the dietary department, patient rooms on the 4th floor, parking deck, radiology department, and a bridge that connected the old and new buildings. 
  • Washington General Hospital changed name to Washington Regional Medical Center.
  • Washington Regional Medical Center expanded to a 240-bed facility.
  • Washington Regional opened a fully equipped heart catheterization lab.
  • A new emergency department and 4th floor Pediatrics was completed.
  • Community fund-raising began for a $12-million expansion plan that would include a patient tower, a new parking plaza, remodeling of the older section, and renovation and updating of almost every hospital service, with additional space for coronary care and intensive care.
  • Kidney dialysis unit opened.
  • The first patient brought by helicopter was admitted to Washington Regional.

  • Washington County Hospital's name changed to Washington General Hospital.
  • Washington General Hospital participated in preliminary plans to establish a two-year Associate Degree of Nursing program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
  • Expansion of 4th and 5th floor east wing was completed.
  • Pharmacy department added.

  • New two-story wing to the east and 2nd floor over existing hospital was completed. The new addition added 100 new beds, which doubled the hospital's capacity.
  • Washington County Hospital's first auxiliary was formed.
  • August 28, 1950, Washington County Hospital opened for business with 50 beds. George Berryman of Dallas was named as the first hospital administrator. 

  • Architect Paul Young Jr. completed hospital design.
  • Washington County Judge Witt Carter appointed a county hospital commission to study the possibility of building a second hospital in Fayetteville to relieve overcrowding at City Hospital.