Walmart heir Alice Walton wants to reform healthcare 

The Walmart heir and philanthropist Alice Walton has had a keen interest in healthcare reform and has funded a number of initiatives aimed at improving health for the residents of northwest Arkansas, TalkBusiness reported Nov. 9.

As the only daughter of the Walmart founder Sam Walton, Ms. Walton currently has a net worth of around $68 billion. She has spent much of her time curating art rather than working for her father's company, but now she wants to make moves into healthcare.

She founded the Whole Health Institute after seeing research on the vast amounts of U.S. healthcare spending yet disproportionately low health outcomes.

"Currently, there is not a whole-person approach to healthcare, which can result in a lack of self-care, fragmented health systems, inequitable health education and policy, unhealthy workplaces, and disconnected communities," Ms. Walton told TalkBusiness

The institute plans to address these problems using a holistic approach, working with payers and policymakers to shift toward value-based care. 

"We offer resources for individuals and work directly with health professionals, medical systems, business and community leaders, and others to integrate a whole-health approach," she told TalkBusiness.

Her foundation is in the assessment phase of a joint initiative with the Cleveland Clinic to identify ways for the clinic's specialty services to provide access in northwest Arkansas.

Ms. Walton also plans to build a medical school in Bentonville, Ark., as a sister organization to the Whole Health Institute. The first students will begin classes there in 2024. 

"The curriculum will combine traditional and conventional medicine with integrative techniques based on whole-health principles," she said of the school.

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