An Inside Look at Arkansas Children’s Northwest

If there is one thing that Moms can agree on, it’s that life happens. Falls lead to broken bones.  Sniffles lead to fevers at midnight.  Strange symptoms lead to major illnesses. In those times, it can be a struggle figuring out where to turn. Kid’s bodies are unique, and they deserve health care that is child-centric, while still involving parents from start to finish. Children offer challenges that can require extra time, patience, monitoring, specialized equipment, medications, and providers who are specially trained and compassionate about kids of all ages. In the past, families found themselves traveling hundreds of miles to find those services. Luckily, that care is now right in our back yard.

Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW) opened on February 27, 2018 as our region’s first and only pediatric hospital and ER. ACNW is part of the Arkansas Children’s health system, which has been providing expert medical care for kids in Arkansas for more than 100 years. It’s also part of the nationwide Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, whose mission is to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. It’s a new, solid pillar of strength in our growing community that offers extensive programs to help improve our children’s health and safety.

Arkansas Children’s Northwest clearly has passion for being kid-savvy and parent-friendly. Wagons and wheelchairs are available at the entrances for parents to haul their belongings and kids. Kids are empowered to drive themselves to surgery on battery operated vehicles (they’ve even got a Frozen sled). The gift shop carries everything from a near life sized unicorn, to a little pick me up trinket for a parent. It even has a special entry that only a child can use. Right next door is a coffee shop serving Starbucks coffee and quick meals. There are traveling video game, book, and art carts to spread a little fun throughout the hospital. You can even look to the ceiling for entertainment! Projectors cast down dancing games, colorful patterns, and a keyboard that you can “play” music on with your feet!

It’s easy to navigate with a common-sense layout.
Hospitals can be hard to navigate, especially when you’re stressed out. It’s nearly impossible to get lost at ACNW! Every floor is clearly labeled with bright, crisp signage allowing you to easily identify where you are and where you need to go. Staff is easily accessible on every floor, and happy to assist you quickly and efficiently.

It’s not just a hospital!
The third floor houses a thriving primary care clinic offering well-child care, immunizations, new born care, diagnosis and treatment for common illnesses, and behavioral visits. The waiting room is open and spacious, with plenty of seating. Speech and Physical therapies are offered on-site for outpatient needs.

ACNW offers FREE New Mommy Appointments! 
These appointments allow expecting mothers to meet and interview pediatricians, offering both holistic and comprehensive health care options. This is a great time to ask the staff any questions you may have about newborn care. Just call 479-725-6995 to schedule your free appointment. 

Child Life Specialists
Being a sick kid is no fun. It can be scary and lonely. ACNW is committed to the wellbeing of children, with Child Life Specialists on staff. A child life specialist helps meet the psychosocial and developmental needs of children and families to reduce the stress and anxiety accompanying hospitalization and other health care encounters. These experts know just what to do to calm a child. Every child life specialist takes the time to get to know your kid, and has a “bag of tricks” to pull from to help comfort kids. Every floor has a designated closet full of supplies that are easily accessible, including dolls that kids can perform surgeries on, which helps them to understand what’s happening to them.

They’re ready for the biggest emergency … and all the little ones, too.
The ACNW emergency department is easily accessible. The imaging center is connected to the ER, leaving no travel time from floor to floor when your kid needs immediate testing. They have kid-sized machines, including a specialized MRI machine that allows children to watch movies in the tube while they are being scanned. It’s one of very few in the nation! If surgery is needed, the surgery center is efficient and offers private rooms for pre/post op recovery. The flow of the operating room allows doctors and staff to move quickly and not waste a second. Sometimes, if the best care happens to be in Little Rock, the staff will work to stabilize the child, while Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s Angel One helicopter flies in to transport you and your child. There are actually two, Angel One red and Angel One blue, so keep your eyes to the sky!

ACNW is family friendly, and ready for extended stays.
If inpatient treatment is necessary, ACNW understands the last thing a parent wants to do is leave their child’s side. The fourth floor houses an inpatient unit and amenties for their families. It has a play room, as well as a family respite room, a kitchen area that local charities and vendors keep stocked with snacks and drinks, a laundry machine with soap, and a room with activities for visiting siblings. Rooms are large and private, with areas for parents to rest and family to visit. Each room is equipped with a cabinet that opens on each side where you can put dirty bedding, meal trays, or anything the staff may need. This allows the staff to grab what they need, without waking a resting child.

ACNW realizes that it takes a village, and they appreciate the community’s support.
Over 14,000 donations totaling over $81 million have helped open the doors of ACNW. Just past the gift shop and coffee shop is a tribute wall to all donors from the community. ACNW is grateful to each giving heart that has helped make the hospital a reality.

Whether you’re looking for a primary care physician, or have an emergent need, Arkansas Children’s Northwest is ready to serve and support you and your family. With a state-of-the-art, kid-savvy facility, and a staff passionate about children’s care, you can trust you and your child will be cared for by great, qualified hands! To check out a virtual tour, and for more information about everything Arkansas Children’s Northwest has to offer, please check out archildrens.org/northwest.

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One Response to An Inside Look at Arkansas Children’s Northwest

  1. Roger July 21, 2018 at 10:48 am #

    Great article! Very informative! My Children are grown and gone their separate ways, but after reading this I may show up on your doorstep pretending to be a 6 yr. old and I don’t feel well.

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