JONESBORO – A $5 million donation by an Arkansas couple announced Dec. 10 is the largest gift to Baptist Memorial Health Care in the Memphis-based hospital system’s 101-year history, according to hospital officals.
Wallace and Jama Fowler of Jonesboro donated $5 million to the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation. The money will be used to create the Fowler Family Patient Assistance Endowment, a fund that will expand support services for the health care center's cancer patients. A new cancer center at NEA Baptist's new medical campus at 4800 E. Johnson in Jonesboro will be named the Fowler Family Center for Cancer Care, NEA Baptist said.
"It is an honor to receive such a generous gift from the Fowler family for the new cancer center at NEA Baptist," said Brad Parsons, CEO and administrator of NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital. "The Fowlers have given to many great initiatives in our community and this is no different. This gift will help transform cancer care in northeast Arkansas for generations to come."
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new hospital in Jonesboro, which opens in January, was held Dec. 10.
The 80-acre campus features a 550,000-square-foot hospital, 212,000 square feet of clinic space and the 34,000-square-foot cancer center. NEA said 500 jobs in health care are being created as a result of the $400 million project.
All components of cancer care are being placed under one roof, including diagnostics and chemotherapy treatments, as a result of the Fowler Family Center for Cancer Care. The center has 22 chemotherapy infusion suites.
"We look forward to working with NEA/Baptist and the cancer center to help provide additional support for patients and their families," Wallace Fowler said.
Wallace Fowler is a business owner and banker. Earlier this year, Fowler sold his privately-held bank company Liberty Bancshares to publicly traded Home BancShares Inc. of Conway for $280 million, according to Arkansas Business. The deal marked the largest in-state bank transaction in Arkansas history.