Three Eagle Award recipients will be formally recognized during the Washington Regional Foundation’s Gala 2010, “An Evening with Kenny Loggins,” scheduled for Tuesday, April 6 at the Walton Arts Center. Established in 1994, the Eagle Award For Outstanding Health Leadership is given to individuals or organizations that make outstanding contributions to the improvement of healthcare in Northwest Arkansas. This year’s recipients are Dan Bell, M.D., Carl Collier and David McClinton.

This is the 17th year that the Gala has been a successful contributor to the Foundation’s efforts to provide necessary funding for a variety of healthcare programs. Over the past 17 years, the Foundation has provided through Gala proceeds more than $900,000 for specific healthcare projects and programs through the phenomenal generosity of countless donors and volunteers throughout Northwest Arkansas. The beneficiary of this year’s Gala proceeds is the new Washington Regional Hospice Home, an inpatient facility that will provide a tranquil, home-like environment for patients who need more end-of-life care than they can receive at home, and will specialize in symptom control and comfort.

Dan Bell, M.D.

When Dr. Dan Bell set out to establish a free health clinic in his Eureka Springs community in November 2005, he had no idea of the national media attention it would garner. But he did have a vision for the difference it would make in the lives of his friends and neighbors. Eureka Springs Christian Health Outreach, known as ECHO, now serves hundreds of patients each year with medical services ranging from simple blood pressure checks to care for chronic health conditions. The ECHO clinic has received nationwide acclaim, with a feature in People magazine and segments on television’s Oprah and ABC World News Tonight.

Dr. Bell, who has practiced family medicine in Eureka Springs for more than 25 years, serves as ECHO’s medical director; his wife, Suzie, who is president of the Arkansas Association of Charitable Clinics, serves as clinic director. They supervise a volunteer staff of 200 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and social workers—as well as hairdressers, bankers and office clerks who lend a hand wherever needed. “The true miracle of what Dr. Bell has accomplished through ECHO is in bringing people together from all different walks of life to care for the less fortunate in our community,” says David Wheeler, administrator of Eureka Springs Hospital.

In a region where an estimated 30 percent of the residents are without health insurance, the clinic represents the best in small-town neighborliness. Two days a month, after putting in a full shift at their regular jobs, ECHO volunteers work another six hours readying the clinic and tending to patients. Some volunteers act as a “shepherd”—a friend to guide patients through the clinic process and to offer kind encouragement. Local churches provide hot meals with homemade desserts that staff and patients can share together, which makes the experience more like a neighborhood potluck than an act of charity. And volunteers banded together again recently as ECHO moved into a 16,000-square-foot building that was renovated—with donated funds and labor—into a modern clinic with an adjoining revenue-producing thrift store.

Dr. Bell is a graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He married the former Suzie Steger in 1971 and together they have three children: April, Beau and Rebekah.

Carl Collier

With a family name that is synonymous with service and trust, Carl Collier has made caring for the health and well being of Northwest Arkansas his priority for more than 45 years.

Collier’s grandfather opened Red Cross Drug Store on the Fayetteville Square in 1917, establishing the family’s commitment to quality care and efficient service by offering home delivery and charge accounts. After Carl graduated from pharmacy school in 1964, he joined his brother Morris and their father in the family business. In 1973, Collier’s Drug Store became just the fourth pharmacy in the nation to implement computerized prescription tracking and record-keeping—another example of the family’s commitment to providing quality care and efficient service.

Widely known for his ready smile and cheerful personality, Collier also epitomizes the serious and scientific nature of a pharmacist. He works diligently to create therapeutic solutions to patient dilemmas, and has been an especially compassionate friend to many Hospice patients. Collier has supported Washington Regional Hospice for more than 25 years, both as a generous financial sponsor of the organization’s fundraising efforts as well as with his time and attention to Hospice patients. He even makes sure a Collier’s pharmacist attends weekly Hospice team meetings in an effort to stay familiar with particular patient needs. “Carl is one of those rare individuals that is genuinely concerned and shows support for anyone and everyone that he encounters,” says Paula Hartz, director of Washington Regional Hospice. “It is not unusual for Carl to get out in the middle of the night to get medications for a patient that is in acute distress or pain.”

In addition to his vast responsibilities as a pharmacist, Collier has been active in several national pharmacy organizations, as well as the American Red Cross, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Rotary, United Way and Dickson Street Improvement Committee. He and his wife, Janet, married since 1965, have two children: Meredith Dowse and Mel Collier.

David McClinton

As president of McClinton-Anchor Co., David McClinton enjoyed a successful career building highways. And in his nearly 24 years of service to the Washington Regional Medical Center board of directors, he cut some important paths for the hospital as well.

McClinton joined what was then called the Washington Regional board of governors in 1986, when the hospital was under the direction of Washington County. That situation limited the hospital’s ability to partner with for-profit entities such as a one-day surgery center or rehabilitation hospital. McClinton helped facilitate the transformation of Washington Regional from a county-operated hospital to the area’s only not-for-profit, community-owned and locally governed medical center. Under his guidance, Washington Regional’s medical staff grew from 150 physicians to nearly 400, and the employee roster expanded from 600 to more than 2,100. Today, Washington Regional Medical System boasts a number of clinics, diagnostic centers and outreach programs to serve the needs of the growing community.

McClinton’s drive and determination are often credited with helping to make the dream of building a state-of-the-art medical center at North Hills a reality in 2002. “David has been a dedicated and valued leader and board member because of his community service experience, keen insight, historical perspective, business acumen and the desire to make our community a better place,” says Ann Rosso, past chair of the Washington Regional board. McClinton served as board chair four times, first in 1989 and most recently at the time of his retirement from the board in December 2009.

A Fayetteville native, McClinton graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1956 and attended the University of Arkansas. He is a founding member and past president of the board at NARTI and has served on the boards at Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bank of Fayetteville, Washington Regional Foundation and Washington Regional Hospice. He and his wife, Imelda, married since 1972, have four children: Michelle Wisdom, Kenneth McClinton, Amy Driver and Christopher McClinton.

About Washington Regional:

Washington Regional is here for you with a comprehensive healthcare network that includes the only not-for-profit, community owned and locally governed medical center in Northwest Arkansas. Washington Regional is committed to improving the health of people in communities we serve through compassionate, high quality care, prevention and wellness education.

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