UAMS Memory Research Center Receives $100,000 From Beverly Healthcare

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Memory Research Center at the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging received $100,000 on Monday from Beverly Healthcare to support efforts to improve care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.


Representatives of the Fort Smith-based Beverly Healthcare, which operates long-term care facilities across the United States, presented a check to Cornelia Beck, R.N., Ph.D., the director of the UAMS Memory Research Center during a breakfast to celebrate the partnership for improving long-term care for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. The funds will be used to support research projects and education efforts.


This funding from Beverly Healthcare is particularly important for these professionals who are beginning their research careers or exploring new areas of research,” Beck said. “The UAMS Memory Research Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging are pleased to be working hand-in-hand with Beverly Healthcare to improve long-term care for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”


The gift will provide $25,000 grants for three projects dealing with issues related to patients experiencing dementia. The UAMS Memory Research Center and Beverly Healthcare will use the remaining $25,000 to develop educational materials for family members of patients in Beverly nursing homes. These materials will help families recognize early symptoms of dementia in an effort to optimize treatment and care.


“Working with UAMS on care and disease-related research is one way we can contribute to the fight against Alzheimer’s,” said Dave Devereaux, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Beverly Healthcare for nursing facilities. “For many families, deciding that a loved one with Alzheimer’s needs special care isn’t easy. Alzheimer’s care at Beverly was developed to give people with Alzheimer’s a place to live where they can feel safe and happy – someplace where they can live to their potential, regardless of their state in the disease process.”


The three research projects funded by the grants include:


  • “Effect of Pramipexole on Restless Legs Syndrome/Periodic Limb Movement Disorder in Persons with Dementia” by Kathy Richards, Ph.D., R.N., a professor in the UAMS College of Nursing.
  • “Risk for Delirium Associated with Medications in Residents with Dementia in Long-Term Care” by Lisa Hutchison, Pharm.D., M.P.H., an associate professor in the UAMS colleges of Pharmacy and Public Health, and Songhee Hong, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UAMS College of Pharmacy.
  • “Distance Family Caregiving of Patients with Alzheimer’s disease Residing in special Care Units:  Informing Technology-based Interventions” by Lazelle Benefield, R.N., Ph.D., a Hartford Scholar from Texas Christian University.


Beverly Healthcare officials joining Devereaux at the event included Patrice Acosta, senior vice president for quality of life programs and a member of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging Advisory Board, David Mills, regional vice president, Darryl Thomas, Arkansas director of operations, and Leslie Campbell, Arkansas director of operations.


Currently Beverly Healthcare operates more than 100 Alzheimer’s care units that specialize in providing care for individuals who are in the middle stages of the disease.  During the next year, additional care units will be opened to provide special services for individuals in advanced stages of the disease. 


The UAMS Memory Research opened in 2001 and is one of only 29 centers in the nation to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health. The center works with other centers and organizations to promote research and education. In collaboration with other centers across the nation, persons with Alzheimer’s disease, those with other kinds of memory loss, and healthy older persons are evaluated and followed by the UAMS Memory Research Center in an effort to find a cure for the disease.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has more than 2,200 students and 660 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.1 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute.