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Arkansas Children's Hospital

Arkansas Children's Hospital
Location Little Rock, Arkansas, US United States
Care system Private
Funding Non-profit hospital
Hospital type Specialist
Affiliated university UAMS College of Medicine
Emergency department I
Beds 370
Speciality Pediatrics
Founded 1912
Website .org.archildrenswww

Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) is a pediatric hospital and a Level I trauma center located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is the sixth largest in the United States, serving children from birth to age twenty-one. ACH is an affiliate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and serves as a teaching hospital under the UAMS College of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics.[1][2] ACH staff consists of more than 500 physicians, 80 residents, and 3,500 support staff members. The campus spans 29 city blocks and has a floor space totaling over 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2).[2]

First Lady of Arkansas Hillary Rodham Clinton served on the board of the Arkansas Children's Hospital Legal Services from 1988 to 1992.[3]


  • Services 1
  • Research 2
    • Mission 2.1
    • Funding 2.2
    • Programs 2.3
  • National recognition 3
    • Awards 3.1
    • News 3.2
  • Construction and expansion 4
  • Accreditation and membership 5
    • Accreditation 5.1
    • Membership 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7


ACH provides a comprehensive set of inpatient, outpatient, and specialty services for patients and families.[4] What follows is an overview of the most notable:

  • Child Life and Education Department - "The Child Life and Education Department addresses the emotional, social, educational and recreational needs of hospitalized children and adolescents. As recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Life programs utilize developmentally appropriate activities to minimize stress and anxiety and to foster positive feelings about health care."
  • Neonatal Unit - "March 2005 marked the 25th anniversary of the ACH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With 65 bassinets and the ability to care for more than 80 infants, the unit is one of the largest in the nation. Bassinets and equipment are arranged in six-unit pods where there is a noticeable reduction in the bright lights and noise levels (current expansions are planned which will convert existing pods to private rooms). Other facilities include a lactation room and five multi-purpose rooms that can be used for teaching homecare or mother-child bonding."
  • Ilizarov Bone-lengthening - "...Dr. James Aronson is the recognized leading practitioner of the Ilizarov bone-lengthening technique in the United States. He is one of only a half-dozen orthopaedic surgeons in America who are truly accomplished in this procedure. He studied this unique method of lengthening short limbs from the developer of the process, Professor G.A. Ilizarov in Siberia in the 1980s and was the first to bring it to this country. It is a complex procedure involving the severing of bones and attachment of external metal fixators (braces) to stretch them as they heal."
  • da Vinci Surgical System - "In April of 2003, Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) announced the installment of newly-developed robotic surgery technology for its patients. The equipment is known as the da Vinci surgical system. ACH is only the second independent pediatric hospital to install this equipment. Robotic surgery incorporates robotic technology with minimally invasive surgery. The help of the robot allows the surgeon to perform complex operations through small incisions, which may result in less pain and a faster recovery for the patient."
  • The Burn Center - "The only Burn Center in the state of Arkansas provides quality and personal care for pediatric as well as adult patients. The Burn Center staff also provides prevention and education programs for communities throughout the state.
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Unit - "The hospital is equipped to care for ECMO patients. ECMO, a heart-lung bypass technique, is used to treat infants and children with reversible, life-threatening heart or lung disease when conventional methods have failed. It is most often used to treat infants with meconium aspiration syndrome or congenital diaphragmatic hernia. However, it also can be effective for infants with sepsis, primary pulmonary hypertension, respiratory distress syndrome or barotrauma with air leaks. ECMO bypass is designed for use over a long period of time (days or weeks) as opposed to the short-term machines used for open-heart surgery. ACH is one of only two hospitals in America that can fly an ECMO patient."
  • Center for Craniofacial Anomalies - "The Craniofacial Clinic is the only program of its kind in the region. It provides diagnosis, evaluation and treatment for children with a variety of craniofacial deformities and malformations. The Craniofacial Team consists of pediatric neurosurgeons, craniofacial plastic surgeons, a craniofacial orthodontist, an otolaryngologist, a geneticist, a prosthetist, an orthotist, a speech/language pathologist and a child life specialist."



The Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) is a not-for-profit corporation owned by Arkansas Children's Hospital. ACHRI was created to provide a research environment on the ACH campus to meet the research needs of UAMS faculty. The Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute mission is to improve children's health, development and well being through high quality research. The vision is to become internationally recognized as a leader in pediatric biomedical research.[5]


"ACHRI research support comes from grants and contracts with federal, state, industry and private agencies and from philanthropic donations. Federal funds account for $12.7 million of ACHRI’s research support money. Of this federal support, $5.5 million is from the USDA and $5.4 million is from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Funds from the State of Arkansas total $5.5 million. State funds include support from the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, created as the major research component of the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000. ACHRI researchers receive the majority of these funds through grant applications and contract arrangements to support their research efforts."[6]


ACHRI houses research programs in infectious disease, endocrinology, osteogenesis, pediatric pharmacology, and the Center for Applied Research and Evaluation.[7]

  • Diabetes Research Working Group - "The Diabetes Research Working Group is a collaborative effort among ACHRI investigators who share a common interest in the study of Type I and Type II diabetes in children and adolescents. Currently, this group has research efforts exploring new interventions to control diabetes, how new bio-markers may help to detect and prevent complications of diabetes, and how diabetes may impact previously underappreciated target tissues, such as bone."
  • Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention - "The Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention seeks to reduce the prevalence of birth defects in Arkansas and the nation and to reduce the economic, social, and psychological impact of birth defects at a state and national level. The Center is establishing a Genomic Research Laboratory Core that will support the Center in its epidemiologic research. These resources will include high-throughput genotyping, mutation and polymorphism detection, physical mapping, sequencing and expression analysis."
  • Arkansas Center for Pain Research - "The Arkansas Center for Pain Research includes a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and scientists who are focusing their efforts on the following four areas: 1) evaluating the effectiveness of drug and non-drug therapies for pain relief in children; 2) investigating how early painful experiences can alter adult pain thresholds, coping behaviors, and the efficacy of analgesics, and can lead to the development of chronic pain syndromes; 3) elucidating the mechanisms underlying “hypersensitivity phenomenon” noted from the behaviors of young infants and animals and correlated with neurophysiological changes in the spinal cord and higher brain centers; and 4) defining the long-term effects of repetitive pain during infancy, and their impact on endocrine, immune, psychosocial, and cognitive function (attention, memory, learning) in later life."
  • Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center - "The Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center is currently one of six national human nutrition centers funded through the United States Department of Agriculture. This center focuses specifically on diet and nutritional status of human development, using state-of-the-art procedures, equipment, and facilities to determine how dietary factors and nutrition can affect brain development, learning, and attention span, as well as how early dietary intervention can prevent diseases of development and aging. A new and just-published discovery at the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center indicates that the inclusion of a certain modified whey protein from cow’s milk in an infant’s diet may play a large role in preventing breast cancer in that individual later in life. The Nutrition Center collaborates with the Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative (Delta Project). The Delta Project is a multi-year, multi-university endeavor to improve the nutrition of poverty-stricken residents of the Mississippi Delta region."
  • Stem-Cell Transplants - ACH's oncology program is a full-member institution of the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG). This group meets regularly to share information on children’s cancer and standardize treatment protocols for each different kind. There are approximately 100 member institutions nationwide.

National recognition


Arkansas Children's Hospital has been voted one of the United States' top 10 pediatric hospitals.[8]

The 2008 U.S. News & World Report included ACH in its ranking of top US pediatric medical facilities. Pediatricians nationwide were interviewed in order to rank hospitals on reputation, patient outcome, and care-related measures such as volume, nursing, and credentialing.[9] ACH was ranked 24th in general pediatrics and 28th in pediatric cardiovascular care and surgery.[10]

The 2008 list of "Best Doctors in America" features 99 physicians on staff at Arkansas Children's Hospital. More than 100 additional physicians included in the list were affiliated more generally with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Health System[11]

ACH is one of the largest employers in Arkansas and Fortune magazine named the hospital in its top 100 "Best Companies to Work For" in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.[12]


In 2007 ACH treated the case of 20-month-old Jacob Esses, which spurred the recall of the Aqua Dots toy. After swallowing a number of the toy beads, 1,4-Butanediol coating the beads was metabolized to Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB, a recreational anesthetic).[13][14] The drug has been shown to cause unconsciousness, drowsiness, seizures, coma, or death.[15]

ACH has been profiled a number of times on the Discovery Health Channel, perhaps most notably in the fall of 2007. The program “Surgery Saved My Life” examined how three physicians in the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Vascular Anomalies Center of Excellence handled patients’ potentially fatal vascular tumors. Featured in the documentary were James Suen, M.D., a head and neck surgeon at ACH and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS); Lisa Buckmiller, M.D., medical director of the ACH Vascular Anomalies Center; and Rick Jackson, M.D., a surgeon at the hospital and associate professor of Surgery in the UAMS College of Medicine. One patient featured in the profile was a 12-year-old girl who was born in Shanghai with what is believed to be the largest vascular tumor ever seen; Chinese surgeons had been reluctant to operate on the tumor.[16]

Discovery Health's "Extreme Surgery" has also featured the hospital.[17]

Construction and expansion

In September 2008 ACH held a groundbreaking for its new $115 million wing that eventually will allow it to care for thousands more sick children every year.[18]

"The 258,000-square-foot (24,000 m2) South Wing will open much-needed space for providing the highest standard of pediatric care possible. The new ED will include telemedicine technology and four trauma rooms, as well as a dedicated orthopedics suite and a decontamination unit. In addition, the South Wing will open new space for the NICU and CVICU to accommodate the growing demand for their services. An entirely new Hematology/Oncology unit will open in the South Wing for the state’s pediatric cancer and blood disorder patients, as will a new inpatient unit dedicated for care of infants through 3-year-olds.

The project actually will provide about 100 new patient beds, but the hospital plans to retire many that date back more than 40 years. The net increase in patient beds will be 54. The new South Wing also will include 56 new exam rooms, as well as 19 new procedural or diagnostic rooms. A roof garden complete with benches, Arkansas foliage and play areas will be open to patients, families and employees.

The South Wing will rise four stories and will be located on land that is now a parking lot just south of the main hospital and west of its Roy & Christine Sturgis Building. The finished facility will sit in the vicinity of Battery Street and 10th Street. The facility was designed by Cromwell Architects and will be built by Nabholz Construction."

Accreditation and membership


ACH holds accreditation with the following agencies:[19]


ACH holds membership in the following organizations:[19]


  1. ^ CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service
  2. ^ a b ACH Press Release - About Us
  3. ^ "Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton".  
  4. ^ ACH Medical Services
  5. ^
  6. ^ ACHRI Funding
  7. ^ ACHRI Programs
  8. ^ ACH Press Release
  9. ^ US News & World Report 2008 - Pediatric Ranking Methodology
  10. ^ US News & World Report 2008 - Arkansas Children's Hospital
  11. ^ UAMS Physicians Among Best Doctors in America
  12. ^ Fortune
  13. ^ International Herald Tribune
  14. ^ USA Today
  15. ^ US Drug Enforcement Administration
  16. ^ ACH Press Release - Discovery Health to feature ACH VACP
  17. ^ ACH Press Release - Discovery Health to Feature ACH in Three Hour Special
  18. ^ ACH Press Release - ACH Breaks Ground on $115 Million Wing
  19. ^ a b ACH Accreditation and Membership

External links

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