Alice L. Walton Foundation and Cleveland Clinic Announce Initiative to Enhance Access to Specialty Care Services in Northwest Arkansas

Media Contact

Tora Vinci 216.339.4277

Kate McLain 216.318.6453

Bentonville, Ark., and Cleveland, Ohio – Today the Alice L. Walton Foundation and Cleveland Clinic announced a joint initiative to identify ways of providing access to Cleveland Clinic’s renowned specialty care services in Northwest Arkansas. The organizations will assess specialty care needs in the region and develop recommendations for healthcare solutions to best meet those needs. Specialty care services require specialized knowledge or skill related to a specific health condition. A recent study shows many Northwest Arkansas residents currently seek specialty care outside the region.

“As Northwest Arkansas continues to grow, it’s imperative that we increase access to specialty care in our region, so residents don’t have to travel elsewhere for care they could receive closer to home,” said philanthropist Alice Walton. “I’ve long admired Cleveland Clinic’s innovative approach to care that is aimed at elevating the well-being of the community with a system for lifelong health. Our goal with this collaboration to assess the specialty care needs of our region is to investigate how to make a transformative approach to health and well-being available to everyone.”

Alice Walton

Founded in 2017, the Alice L. Walton Foundation works to enhance quality of life for individuals and communities through providing access to offerings that enhance well-being. In 2020, Walton announced the formation of the Whole Health Institute, and earlier this year, she announced the formation of the Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Both of these organizations, based in Bentonville, Ark., focus on redesigning the systems that impact health and well-being with the goal of making whole health accessible and affordable to all.

The Alice L. Walton Foundation and Cleveland Clinic envision that any future specialty care initiatives they may develop in the region would collaborate with the Whole Health Institute to identify opportunities for increased patient experience and engagement, with the goal of improving health outcomes.

Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and President, Cleveland Clinic

“At Cleveland Clinic, our purpose is caring for others,” said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. “We believe it is our responsibility to provide more patients with access to Cleveland Clinic’s safe, quality and compassionate care. The Alice L. Walton Foundation shares this commitment to serving others, and we are pleased to work together in support of the Northwest Arkansas community.”

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. U.S. News & World Report recently named Cleveland Clinic the No. 2 hospital in the nation in the “2021-2022 Best Hospitals” rankings and has ranked it No. 1 in heart care for 27 consecutive years.

Throughout its 100-year history, Cleveland Clinic has offered a team-based, physician-led model of care centered around the patient. Cleveland Clinic’s ability to provide world-class patient care is the product of its commitment to research and education, which also has contributed significant advancements toward the diagnosis and treatment of complex medical conditions. The organizational values are focused on safety and quality, teamwork, inclusion, empathy, innovation and integrity. Cleveland Clinic has grown into a globally integrated healthcare system with locations in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Toronto, Abu Dhabi and London opening in early 2022. The healthcare system’s global network is dedicated to quality improvement through measuring and publishing clinical outcomes.

“I’m delighted to work with Cleveland Clinic to determine how best to bring world class specialty care to Northwest Arkansas,” said Walton. “Our thriving region has always had a culture of collaboration and focus on serving the community’s needs. As we grow and welcome new residents daily, we will all benefit from increased access to excellent and innovative care.”



Alice L. Walton Foundation:

Diane Carroll, Chief Communications Officer, 479.387.6613

Cleveland Clinic: 

Tora Vinci, Corporate Communications, 216.339.4277

Kate McLain, Corporate Communications, 216.318.6453


About the Alice L. Walton Foundation
Founded in 2017, the Alice L. Walton Foundation works to enhance the quality of life for individuals through providing access to offerings that improve well-being and create diverse and inclusive communities. The foundation focuses on philanthropist Alice Walton’s commitment to increasing access to the arts, improving education outcomes, enhancing health, and advancing economic opportunity for all. Through this work, the foundation strives to deliver meaningful and lasting change to individuals and communities most in need. Learn more at

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic – now in its centennial year – is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 70,800 employees worldwide are more than 4,660 salaried physicians and researchers, and 18,500 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 19 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2020, there were 8.7 million total outpatient visits, 273,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 217,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at