In 2007 members of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation visited the Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education in Northwest Arkansas and realized the potential impact the program could have if it were available throughout the state.
The existing infrastructure of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Arkansas Aging Initiative program with its eight, strategically located, Centers on Aging, was determined to be the perfect framework to support replication of the Schmieding program.
In 2008, The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation provided UAMS with a one-year planning grant to develop a proposal for replicating the Schmieding program. During this time a leadership team was formed with members of the Schmieding Center and UAMS and a detailed community analysis of proposed sites for phase I of the project was conducted. The leadership committee selected the communities of Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, and West Memphis as sites for phase I of the project.
In June of 2009, the phase I proposal was funded and the University received $3,015,565 from the Reynolds Foundation to replicate the Schmieding program. Jonesboro Arkansas was the first of four sites to open and started training caregivers in April of 2010. Pine Bluff followed in October of 2010, and then Texarkana opened in January of 2011. West Memphis opened in May of 2011.
In the summer of 2011 grant personnel were invited to submit a proposal for a phase II grant which included nearly 8 million dollars to continue operations at the existing 4 sites and open four new sites in Ft. Smith, Little Rock, Hot Springs and El Dorado. Work on Phase II began in July of 2012 and by September of 2013, all eight sites were operational.
To date (Sept 30, 2016) the Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Replication Project has trained nearly 3,311 individuals throughout the state on how to care for older adults living at home. 1,558 of those students took one or more certified classes, 1,492 attended a family workshop and 261 completed one or more continuing education programs.
Work continues to increase student enrollment and additional staff was hired at 4 locations to meet the community demands.