St. Bernards receives $100,000 gift for NICU

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Walmart Foundation gave St. Bernards Neonatal Intensive Care Unit a generous donation Wednesday to the tune of $100,000.

"We are grateful for this generous gift from the Walmart Foundation," St. Bernards Healthcare President and Chief Executive Officer Chris B. Barber said. "Walmart plays a large role in the lives of many people throughout the region, and we are pleased that the Walmart Foundation has chosen to help St. Bernards as we provide this new much-needed service to area residents by helping us fund the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Bernards."

Barber said the gift shows Walmart's and St. Bernards' commitment to the communities they serve.

"The creation of our NICU is enabling many parents and their premature and sick babies to stay closer to home for specialized care. And this substantial gift from Walmart helps us provide care which previously was not available in Northeast Arkansas," Barber said.

The grant was presented Wednesday at St. Bernards by director of public affairs for Walmart, Chris Neeley.

Walmart officials met with senior leaders at St. Bernards and also toured the new NICU, the only such facility in Northeast Arkansas.

The 12-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was developed in conjunction with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock to care for premature and seriously ill infants. It provides care for infants born at 32 weeks of pregnancy and weighing approximately three and one third pounds. The special unit will allow up to 150 premature or sick babies each year to remain in Region 8 for highly specialized care.

Chris Neeley said The Walmart Foundation is proud to support St. Bernards.

"This grant obviously will help provide much needed services that have not been available in this area before."

The gift to St. Bernards was made possible through the Walmart Foundation's Arkansas State Giving Program.

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