UAMS’ Arkansas Aging Initiative Opens Center on Aging in Mountain Home

By Jon Parham

“Baxter County is the perfect place to open the ninth Center on Aging because 27 percent of the population in this north central Arkansas county is age 65 or older,” said Claudia J. Beverly, Ph.D., R.N., at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Beverly, who directs the Arkansas Aging Initiative, is a professor in the UAMS College of Nursing, College of Medicine and the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health.

“With the addition of the Fairlamb Senior Health Clinic, the clinical component of the center, 98 percent of senior adults in Arkansas have access to quality health  care within a 60-mile drive from their homes,” said Beverly. “No other state in the country has a similar network of health care and educational services for seniors.”

The mission of the AAI is to improve the health of older Arkansans through interdisciplinary clinical care and innovative education programs, and to influence health policy at the state and national levels with an emphasis on the care of rural older adults.

Seven of the regional centers receive funding from a portion of Arkansas’ share of the Master Tobacco Settlement:  El Dorado, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, Springdale, Fort Smith, West Memphis and Texarkana. The Cella family of St. Louis and owners of the Oaklawn Race Track contributed initial funds to open the eighth center, the Oaklawn Center on Aging, and pledged ongoing support through the Oaklawn Foundation.

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