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A longtime volunteer has established a $1 million endowed fund in support of child-maltreatment prevention programs at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

The hospital announced Beverly Keener's gift Wednesday. The fund will be named for her and her late husband -- the Beverly and David Keener Family Endowed Fund in Child Maltreatment Prevention.

Maltreatment includes all forms of child abuse, including physical, sexual or psychological abuse or neglect of a child, particularly by a parent or caregiver.

Keener said children who have suffered abuse "are so vulnerable, so innocent," and her family wanted "to provide a brighter outcome" for them.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services reported 9,364 substantiated cases of child abuse in the state last year.

When the fund is realized, physicians can use the money to improve and expand child-abuse prevention strategies through the David M. Clark Center for Safe and Healthy Children.

The center opened in 2016 and has made it so abused children can receive all the necessary services at a single location. Before that the services were spread out across the hospital campus.

Keener has been a volunteer at Arkansas Children's Hospital since 1999. She's a member of the Circle of Friends chapter in Russellville. A news release said she has provided tours of the hospital, rocked infants and comforted patients.

Fred Scarborough, chief development officer for the hospital and president of its foundation, called Keener a "true champion for children."

"Her unyielding commitment to serving children and investing in resources for our most vulnerable patients will have a lasting impact for generations to come. This gift from the Keener family will bring light to the dark reality of child maltreatment," he said.

NW News on 06/21/2018

Print Headline: $1 million gift to fight child maltreatment

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