Washington Regional is the only not-for-profit, community-owned and locally governed health care system in Northwest Arkansas. The system includes:
an acute care hospital,
a rehabilitation hospital,
assisted living and long-term care facilities,
kidney dialysis centers,
an outpatient surgery center, and
a network of clinics and services.
We are committed to improving the health of the people we serve in Washington, Benton, Madison, and Carroll counties by providing compassionate, high quality care, prevention and wellness education.
Washington Regional Medical Center opened as Washington County Hospital in 1950 as an acute care facility with 50 beds on the corner of College Avenue and North Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In August 2002, the new Washington Regional Medical Center opened with 233 beds on North Hills Boulevard.
Our new hospital encompasses 345,000 square feet and provides an aesthetically pleasing healing environment with state-of-the-art technology and experienced physicians, nurses, and staff. Washington Regional Medical Center is the region’s only not-for-profit, community owned and locally governed hospital.
Throughout the years Washington Regional has maintained its place as a progressive leader in health care in Northwest Arkansas. Today, the medical center is part of a comprehensive health care system that includes Fayetteville City Hospital, Brookstone Assisted Living, North Hills Surgery Center, and a network of clinics and services in Northwest Arkansas.
Washington Regional Medical Center Time Line
1947 Washington County Judge Witt Carter appoints a county hospital commission to study the possibility of building a second hospital in Fayetteville to relieve overcrowding at City Hospital.
1948 Architect Paul Young Jr. completes hospital design.
1950 August 28, Washington County Hospital opens for business with 50 beds. George Berryman of Dallas is named as the first hospital administrator. From August 1950-August 1951, 499 babies are born at Washington County Hospital.
1953 Polio ward opens. First polio patient admitted August 14, 1953. Washington County Hospital’s first auxiliary is formed, with a nucleus of 11 women and Benny Carlisle, administrator.
1954 Employees begin fund-raising efforts to install individual air conditioning units in rooms.
1955 Washington County Hospital has 60 employees with an annual payroll of $120,000. There are 33 physicians and 38 nurses and nurses’ aides.
1957 Cable television installed in patient rooms.
1959 New two-story wing to the east and 2nd floor over existing hospital was completed and added 100 new beds, which doubled the hospital’s capacity.
1961 Washington County Hospital’s name is changed to Washington General Hospital.
1962 Pharmacy department added.
1966 Hospital delivers 900 babies. A new telephone system installed that lets patients dial without going through the hospital switchboard. Expansion of 4th and 5th floor east wing completed.
1969 Washington General Hospital participates in preliminary plans to establish a two-year Associate Degree of Nursing program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Candy Stripers summer youth volunteer program started. After a crisis involving a lack of ambulance service (a station wagon was being used in emergencies), it was decided to make ambulance service a hospital-based service.
1971 Cobalt unit for cancer patients passes inspection by the Arkansas Department of Health.
1972 The active medical staff included 63 physicians and dentists. Candy Stripers summer youth volunteer program admits first boys. The first patient brought by helicopter was admitted. The chopper landed on the empty parking lot at the Bullington property located south of the hospital.
1973 Washington General Hospital changes name to Washington Regional Medical Center. Community fund-raising begins for a $12-million expansion plan that would include a patient tower, a new parking plaza, remodeling of the older section, and renovation and updating of almost every hospital service, with additional space for coronary care and intensive care. First major donation from physicians was $50,000 from Drs. Andy and Mae Nettleship, Fayetteville pathologists. Kidney dialysis unit opens with one patient, a nurse, and two dialysis machines.
1975 Washington Regional Medical Center expands to a 240-bed facility.
1977 CT scanner and ultrasound equipment operational.
1978 East Tower opens with dedication on July 16. The expansion of the East Tower included the dietary department, patient rooms on the 4th floor, parking deck, X-ray department, and the bridge that connects the old and the new buildings. Washington Regional opens a fully equipped heart catheterization laboratory. New emergency department and 4th floor Pediatrics completed.
1979 Physician staff totals 120. First hospital in state to have birthing rooms. One-day birthing instituted. One-Day Surgery service begins.
1980 1,267 babies born at Washington Regional Medical Center.
1981 Emergency Department becomes a Level II Trauma Center.
1982 Completion of the East Tower expansion ends with the 6th Floor opening for operation, adding 44 obstetric and gynecological beds.
1983 826 full- and part-time employees. 30 medical specialties represented, 135 physicians on staff, with a total of 272 beds. New neurological floor and intensive care step-down unit opened at 2 West, adding 22 beds.
1985 WRMC Hospice becomes first Medicare-certified program in Arkansas. Hospice program becomes operational.
1987 Medical staff totals 160. Center for Exercise opens at a facility in the shopping center at Township and Gregg streets. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is transported to Washington Regional. Sleep Disorder Center opens, one of only 100 in the U.S. at the time.
1989 Washington Regional Medical Center becomes a smoke-free institution. While it had always had a smoking policy, WRMC restricted smoking in the building.
1990 Washington Regional and Fayetteville City Hospital announce an agreement to share operating room space at City Hospital, to help ease the volume of surgeries performed at WRMC’s main facility.
1991 WRMC goes back to using cloth diapers for newborns to become more environmentally safe. Hyperbaric oxygen service (HBO), a medical treatment that enhances the body’s ability to provide oxygen to tissues, is now available in Northwest Arkansas at WRMC. Renovation of 6th floor to accommodate an increasing number of women seeking services.
1993 Open-heart surgery started at Washington Regional.
1994 Washington Regional’s Kids for Health, a health education program for school children, began as a pilot project at Prairie Grove and West Fork schools, and at Jefferson Elementary in Fayetteville with about 1,000 children participating.
1995 Cancer Support Home opens.
1999 Groundbreaking for new Washington Regional Medical Center replacement facility at North Hills Medical Park.
2002 New Washington Regional Medical Center opens on August 27, 2002.
Mission, Vision, and Values
Washington Regional is committed to improving the health of people in communities we serve through compassionate, high quality care, prevention and wellness education.
To be the leading healthcare system in Northwest Arkansas --- the best place to receive care and the best place to give care.
To treat others – patients and their families, visitors, physicians, and each other – as we would want to be treated.