UAMS College of Nursing Receives $162,000 to Link With Delta Nursing Homes for Education, Patient Care

By David Robinson

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was awarded to the UAMS College of Nursing’s Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence and its Delta Telecommunications Centers project.

The funding will be used in part to establish computer labs with Internet access at six nursing homes. In addition, two of those nursing homes will have telemedicine links with geriatrics specialists at UAMS in Little Rock and the eight Centers on Aging that are part of the Arkansas Aging Initiative, a program of the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.

The computer labs will be available to nursing staff, including certified nursing assistants (C.N.A.s), licensed practical nurses (L.P.N.s) and registered nurses (R.N.s) who want to advance their nursing education level.

“The research shows us that increasing the number of registered nurses and nurses with bachelor’s degrees in nursing with a focus on long-term care will result in better resident and patient outcomes,” said UAMS’ Claudia Beverly, Ph.D., R.N., director of the UAMS Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence. “This grant increases access to technology for nurses in rural underserved counties. It is really a partnership with nursing homes, home health, assisted living and hospice to help individuals acquire registered nurse degrees.”

The six long-term care facilities are: Cave City Nursing Home, Sharp County; Gardner Nursing Center, Star City (Lincoln County); St. John’s Place of Arkansas, Fordyce (Dallas County); Woodruff County Health Center, McCrory (Woodruff County); Corning Therapy and Living Center, Corning (Clay County); Osceola Therapy and Living Center, Osceola (Mississippi County).

The Cave City Nursing Home and St. John’s Place of Arkansas in Fordyce will have their patient care augmented by telemedicine links with UAMS and the Arkansas Aging Initiative. Telemedicine uses two-way interactive video and diagnostic equipment that enables doctors to provide care from distant locations.

The telemedicine/clinical component is a first in the Hartford Center’s history, Beverly said.

“While our Hartford Center is typically focused on education and preparing the long-term care workforce, we are also are concerned about improving outcomes of older adults in nursing homes and long-term care in general,” Beverly said. “These telemedicine connections will help us do that.”

Founded in 1929, the John A. Hartford Foundation seeks to strengthen the nation’s capacity to provide effective, affordable care to this rapidly increasing older population by educating “aging-prepared” health professionals and developing innovations that improve and better integrate health and supportive services. The Foundation was established by John A. Hartford. Hartford and his brother, George L. Hartford, both former chief executives of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, left the bulk of their estates to the Foundation in the 1950s. Additional information about the Foundation and it programs is available at

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 775 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or