Walmart heir's medical school stacks up board talent

The Alice L. Walton School of Medicine has finalized its board of nine with plans to welcome its inaugural class in 2025, pending accreditation.

Alice Walton, the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, shared plans in March 2021 to finance and build a four-year medical school in Bentonville, Ark., with construction set to begin in 2022. Nearly two years later, the school has a name, a board and is currently conducting a national search for a dean, according to a news release shared with Becker's Dec. 12. 

The school's board is made up of nine members, including Ms. Walton. Other members are: 

  • (Chair) Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine
  • Patrick Conway, CEO of Care Solutions at Optum
  • Kate Hobbs Knutson, MD, senior vice president at United Health Group and CEO of Optum Behavioral Care
  • Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta
  • Steve Nelson, co-founder of Carbon 
  • Marc Nivet, EdD, executive vice president for institutional advancement at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas
  • Cheryl Pegus, MD, managing director of Morgan Health
  • James Young, MD, former executive dean of Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

As board chair, Dr. Minor will oversee committees and advise senior leadership at the new medical school. As dean for the enterprise of Stanford Medicine, Dr. Minor oversees Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care and Stanford Medicine Children's Health. 

Alice L. Walton School of Medicine will be housed in a 154,000-square-foot medical education building on the campus of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

Ms. Walton's vision for the school is to integrate "conventional medicine with holistic principles and self-care practices." The school is operating with the goal of welcoming its inaugural class in 2025. It is currently hiring for a number of faculty positions.

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