UAMS Reynolds Institute on Aging Kicks Off Celebration of National Family Caregiver Month Nov. 9

By Ben Boulden

“We want to recognize the 452,000 family caregivers who contribute to the care of older adults in Arkansas,” said Jeanne Wei, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Reynolds Institute. “Together, they provide an estimated $4.7 billion in unpaid care each year, helping their loved ones with bathing and dressing, meal preparation, transportation, finances and even complex medical tasks like wound care and injections.”

Visitors will be able to tour the UAMS Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Center and Carehouse at the institute and hear national speakers like John Schall, president and CEO of the national Caregiver Action Network, and Joel G. Hopper, developer of the Caregiver Ally Program at Kimberly-Clark Corp.

At seven training sites around Arkansas, the Schmieding Home Caregiver Program provides education and skills training to family members and paid caregivers caring for older adults in the home, allowing older adults to have choices about how they are cared for.

Also speaking at the celebration will be Wei; UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D.; Claudia Beverly, Ph.D., R.N., director of the Arkansas Aging Initiative at the Reynolds Institute and Robin McAtee, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.C.H.E., associate director of the Arkansas Aging Initiative.

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John Schall joined the Caregiver Action Network, formerly the National Family Caregivers Association, in 2012. The network is a nonprofit organization providing education, peer support and resources to family caregivers across the United States, working to improve the quality of life of the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease or frailties of old age.

Schall has more than 25 years of bipartisan experience in senior positions with the executive and legislative branches of government, including as chief budget advisor to the senate majority leader and a domestic policy advisor to President George H.W. Bush. He has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Although Hopper has 25 years of experience with Kimberly-Clark, maker of such products as Kleenex and Huggies, he also is a caregiver to his parents. Under his leadership, the Family Caregivers Network has earned recognition for delivering employee caregiver solutions and been featured in national publications such as USA Today and Forbes. The network provides Kimberly-Clark employees information, support and advocacy for family caregiving issues.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; 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, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and five dental 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 regional centers throughout the state. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.