Schmieding Foundation Gives $300,000 to UAMS Kids First, the Schmieding Developmental Center

By David Wise

Funds Used to Move Locations, Purchase New Playground Equipment

The two centers will start moving to the new location just north of Arkansas Children’s Hospital tomorrow and plan to open July 12.

The Lowell location had three outdoor play areas, which were purchased in 2007. Two of the playgrounds were used by Kids First, one for infants and toddlers and one for children ages 2-5 to promote growth and physical development, as part of the center’s comprehensive day treatment program. The Schmieding Developmental Center used the third playground to allow children access to physical activity and sensory input during lengthy appointments.

“The Schmieding Foundation remains committed to supporting the services provided to children in Northwest Arkansas through the UAMS Schmieding Developmental Center and Schmieding Kids First programs,” said Lance Taylor, president of the Schmieding Foundation. “We are excited to see these meaningful services for children continue to expand as the programs move into the new Springdale facility.

The new building features three separate play areas, with appropriate screening to protect patient privacy and reduce distractions. The UAMS Schmieding Kids First play area for infants and toddlers is about 1,200 square feet, while the preschool play area is 1,500 square feet. The Schmieding Developmental Center play area is about 900 square feet.

“With the generous support of the Schmieding Foundation, we will be able to create a child-friendly clinic and playground area that is a safe place to play and learn for children of all abilities,” said UAMS Schmieding Kids First director Kimberly Cox, RN. “It is so wonderful to have community partners who are advocates and supporters of young children.”

The outdoor play space integrates nature-inspired elements and a mixture of equipment that encourages a variety of play behaviors for children of all ages and will be designed and constructed to meet all standards of the Arkansas Minimum Licensing Standards for Child Care Facilities.

In lieu of large plastic climbing structures, poured-in-place surfacing mimics streams, turf mimics grass, and equipment resembles trees, stumps and rocks. Planters or raised beds and raised sensory tables allow access for young children in wheelchairs or walkers.

“I am so grateful to the Schmieding Foundation for helping us move back to Springdale adjacent to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and to support the construction of our playground,” said Schmieding Developmental Center director Mary Ann Scott, Ph.D. “Having an outdoor space to break up a long day of structured testing helps enhance the experience for children and their families and allows clinicians to see how children respond to physical play. The playground is a great addition to a diagnostic program and is only possible with such a generous gift to offset the expense.


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.

The UAMS Northwest Regional Campus includes 273 medical, pharmacy, nursing and health professions students, 50 medical and pharmacy residents, and 1,000 community-based faculty. The campus has nine clinics including a student-led clinic and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Faculty conduct research to reduce health disparities. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.