Two Southeast Arkansas facilities will benefit from a telecommunications program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Two Southeast Arkansas facilities will benefit from a telecommunications program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

A $162,002 federal grant will allow UAMS to soon put telecommunications to work in the Arkansas Delta improving the education levels of nursing home caregivers and enabling UAMS’ geriatrics specialists to see patients in long-term care facilities in the Delta.

The long-term care facilities will include Gardner Nursing Center, Star City; St. John’s Place of Arkansas, Fordyce; Cave City Nursing Home, Sharp County; Woodruff County Health Center, McCrory (Woodruff County); Corning Therapy and Living Center, Corning (Clay County); Osceola Therapy and Living Center, Osceola (Mississippi County).

The Cave City and Fordyce centers will have their patient care augmented by telemedicine links with UAMS and the Arkansas Aging Initiative. Telemedicine uses two-way interactive video and diagnostic equipment that enables doctors to provide care from distant locations.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was awarded to the UAMS College of Nursing’s Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence and its Delta Telecommunications Centers project. The funding will be used in part to establish computer labs with Internet access at the six nursing homes. In addition, two of those nursing homes will have telemedicine links with geriatrics specialists at UAMS in Little Rock and the eight Centers on Aging that are part of the Arkansas Aging Initiative, a program of the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.