Existing geriatrics initiatives in Arkansas serve as a platform on which to build new projects and expand and improve the educational opportunities for practicing health professionals, faculty, and students who will be the next generation of providers, direct care workers, first responders, and family caregivers.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
UAMS, a campus of the University of Arkansas (UA), includes the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions, and Public Health, as well as the Graduate School. UAMS is the only institution in the UA system that provides professional and graduate education in the health and biomedical sciences, had the only medical school in Arkansas, and maintains strong ties with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS).
UAMS Donald W. Reynolds (DWR) on Aging and Department of Geriatrics
In 1996, UAMS received a major grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to establish an Institute on Aging that would include a clinical Department of Geriatrics. The Reynolds Institute on Aging (RIOA) sponsors an outpatient clinic, an acute care consult service, several nursing home medical directorships, a house calls program and the 7 rural centers on aging. UAMS Centers on Aging – The UAMS COAs is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. The mission is to improve the health outcomes of older Arkansans through free community education programs. The UAMS COAs also strive to partner with community clinics to provide care to area seniors.
Arkansas State University (ASU)
The Arkansas State University (ASU) campus occupies 800 acres in Jonesboro, located in the northeast corner of Arkansas. ASU was one of the four original state agricultural schools established in 1909. It has 5 branch campuses located in Beebe, Mountain Home, Heber Spring, Paragould, and Newport. Additionally, ASU offers a variety of courses and degree programs on a number of community college campuses throughout Arkansas. It is classified as a regional comprehensive university and offers associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs.
ASU is a key partner in the development of the Northeast Arkansas Center on Aging (Arkansas Aging Initiative) and the 400 contracted clinical affiliation sites that positively impact the operational capacity of the College’s programs. The collaboration between ASU and UAMS through the AGEC has been successful since its inception in 2002.
University of Central Arkansas (UCA)
Established in 1907, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), located in Conway, has experienced significant growth and change in the past three years with a surge in enrollments crossing a threshold of 12,300 students, including 1800 graduate students.
UCA seeks to deliver excellence in undergraduate education in Arkansas as well as in several graduate programs. The University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in liberal and fine arts, in the basic sciences, and in technical and professional fields in addition to its historical emphasis in the field of education.
UCA will be a new partner in the Arkansas GEC consortium. The College of Health & Behavioral Sciences will be the specific collaborator and is the home of Nursing, Dietetics, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, and Psychology programs.
As a small, liberal arts institution with a commitment to engaged learning across disciplines, Hendrix College encourages our students and faculty to explore what it means to be an engaged and informed citizen and our responsibilities and privileges as such – locally, nationally, and internationally. Founded in 1876 and located in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College cultivates empathy, creativity, self-understanding, rigorous inquiry, informed deliberation, and active learning across the liberal arts, toward the development of the whole person. Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy. A partner since 2018, Hendrix College is pleased to be a part of the AGEC and looks forward to continued collaboration.
Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St. Vincent Hot Springs Senior Center
The McAuley and Hot Springs Senior Centers are owned and operated by Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St. Vincent Hospital-Hot Springs and funded by Title III of the Older Americans Act, Social Services BLock Grant, ARkansas State matching local revenue requirements for Federal Funds, US Department of Human Services, dedicated State Tax revenue, Medicaid (Elderchoices home-delivered meals), state general revenue and consumer donations. CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs serves almost 1,500 older adults in two underserved rural area in Arkansas. These senior centers have a reputation of providing critical services to residents in these areas and on classes on various health and social topics.
CHI St. Vincent advocates the “safe discharge” concept; one that combines quality acute care and thoughtful postdischarge aftercare to optimize health outcomes.
CareLink exists to keep seniors in their homes, where they want to be. We have been committed to central Arkansas’ older population and their families for nearly four decades. CareLink provides vital services such as Meals on Wheels, care for homebound older people and our many resources for caregivers. Our mission is to connect older people and their families with resources to meet the opportunities and challenges of aging.
Alzheimer’s Arkansas is an independent nonprofit organization that provides education, support, and financial assistance to caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Their mission is to help family caregivers in Arkansas whose loved ones are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Through monthly lunch & learn presentations, annual caregiver workshops, and respite care grants, this Alzheimer’s Arkansas strives to care for the caregiver. Founded in 1984, this organization strives to meet Arkansans where they are, with what they need, at any point in the caregiver journey.
LifeQuest of Arkansas is a nonprofit charitable organization, that was founded in 1981 as The Shepherd’s Center of Little Rock (they remain an affiliate of The Shepherd’s Centers of America) to provide a framework through which adults can plan and create a more purposeful and rewarding life. LifeQuest is not a religious organization, yet fourteen interfaith congregations joined together to fund and begin LifeQuest. Today there are many various affiliated congregations and educational and corporate sponsors. LifeQuest membership currently stands at more than 2,500. Participants come from 13 counties in Arkansas, 8 states, and 2 countries.
LifeQuest educational classes are available to adults of all ages. Programs are based on an open-university concept, with no homework, tests, or grades. Four educational terms are conducted annually: three eight-week terms and one four-week summer term.
Arkansas Chapter of AARP
We will collaborate with the Arkansas Chapter of AARP to educate older adults and direct care workers who care for older adults. Efforts will include offering dementia and physical skills family caregiving workshops to their membership in various parts of the state. This will provide lay caregivers the skills to care for their friends and family in the home.
State and local emergency responders
We are proud to announce we will partner with state and local emergency responders (police, firefighters, EMTs) to present programs designed to equip them with knowledge of how to assist people suffering from dementia.