Moving Forward

The Jackson L. Graves Foundation funds numerous projects. Currently, we are partnering with Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville on a long-term commitment to enhance their stabilization room as well as purchase specialized equipment for their NICU. The stabilization room is a room staffed with a neonatologist and emergency equipment where babies who require immediate care can go following a high-risk delivery. In the past, we have worked with them to fund the completion of their milk lab with the addition of two waterless milk warmers as well as recliners to aid parents in Kangaroo Care.

The Foundation has also committed to continuing the work of the Audrey Harris Vision. It is a nonprofit organization with one mission: to further the education of neonatal nurses.  Audrey Harris, in who's memory the organization is named, was dedicated to the continuing education of neonatal nurses and had a strong interest in improving care for neonatal patients. Today, we carry out this mission by providing scholarships for continuing education for neonatal nurses, educational materials for NICUs and hosting the Audrey Harris Neonatal Conference every September. For more information, visit https://www.audreyharrisvision.org/ 

The Foundation has partnered with the Willow Creek Women's Hospital in Northwest Arkansas to provide funding for a noise monitoring system in the NICU. We have completed the planned, funded and installed a Family Garden for the families being served at the facility. The garden is complete with four sitting areas, a flower picking garden for children, and an opportunity to have pavers engraved to honor loved ones. The garden also features a memorial sculpture, fountain and a prayer labyrinth. The Foundation has also committed to the Garden's upkeep.  We believe the Garden has:

  • Provided a dedicated space for reflection and peace for families who have an infant with a long-term stay or mother on bed-rest. 
  • Increased the opportunities for staff to find a place for reprieve while caring for critical patients.

  • Served as a spiritual space for the patrons and staff.
  • Created a space to provide a Family Centered Care Program involving graduate parents, local churches as partners, and special events.
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We also partner with Arkansas Children's Hospital to:

  • Provide toys, books, clothes, toiletries and other items for infants and toddlers, as well as their families.

  • Funding for research into recurring conditions that cause long term hospital stays for infants and funding for specialized training for nursing care of long term infant patients.

  • Purchase of special equipment needed for long term NICU patients and families.

The Jackson L. Graves Foundation has also helped to fund a longer term project at the Arkansas Children's Hospital. This project is for the dedication of space and staffing for a "Transitional Care Unit", or at least an area of private patient rooms, for long-term, critically ill infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital. The Foundation has made great strides towards fulfilling this long term goal with the funding of the Jackson L. Graves private care room and the Jackson L. Graves Sibling Playroom, both in the wing of the NICU that was completed in 2012.  The Foundation fulfilled a pledge of $125,000 for the construction of these rooms. Specifically, the plan was to create an updated model of care to provide individualized, family-centered care.   

In 2012, the Jackson L. Graves Foundation partnered with the Lahav Lab at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, MA by supporting their continued research on the effects of noise in the NICU on the development of infants. 

Quick facts

Quick facts about Arkansas Children's Hospital NICU:

  • 755 babies were transferred to Arkansas Children's NICU in fiscal year 2018.
  • 175 of the babies were from Northwest Arkansas (an average of 14 per month, and 23% of the total)
  • Average census in the unit is 71, but unit can hold as many as 100 babies
  • 35% of the babies required one or more surgical procedures 
  • 75 babies had complex conditions requiring a stay of 6 months or longer 
  • Arkansas Children's NICU survival rate is 96 percent