UAMS/Schmieding Names Christensen as Project Director

By Ben Boulden

Christensen will oversee the development and implementation of the award, announced in 2012, including a 40-hour family care advocate enhanced home caregiving training module. The new module, added to the existing Schmieding Caregiver Training Program, was developed to provide home caregivers with improved communication, evidenced based and person-centered care for older adults with chronic diseases.

Christensen earned her doctorate in education from Oklahoma State University and a degree in nursing from St. Francis School of Nursing in Wichita, Kan. She taught health services administration in both graduate and undergraduate programs at Ohio University and also served as director of Graduate Programs at Shawnee State University in Ohio.

For the past seven years, Christensen has worked at the Bella Vista Health Resource Center for the Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education in Bella Vista. She was named coordinator of senior community health programs there in 2010.

“UAMS and the Schmieding Center are most fortunate that Dr. Christensen has agreed to bring her leadership skills, nursing expertise and long experience in academic nursing education to this most important project,” said Larry D. Wright, M.D., executive director of the Schmieding Center and associate professor in the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Developed at the UAMS Schmieding Center in Springdale, the caregiver training program offers four levels of certification for paid caregivers and two workshops for those who provide care to their family members. In 1998, the Schmieding Foundation donated $15 million to UAMS to establish and construct the center.

CMS is a federal agency within the U.S. Department Health and Human Services responsible for administering the Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state's Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — COPD, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and four dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.