History and Mission of the Aging Arkansas Initiative


The Arkansas Aging Initiative (AAI) is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging (RIOA) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  AAI partners with the UAMS Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), local and and regional hospitals, Area Agencies on Aging, local colleges and universities, and local communities to meet the needs of aging generations with the highest standards of service, research and care available today.  AAI’s mission is to improve health outcomes of older Arkansans through interdisciplinary clinical care and innovative education programs.  It does so by:

  • delivering quality health care to older persons,
  • conducting research on aging and age-related diseases,
  • providing educational programs on aging for health care professionals and the public, and
  • influencing public policy on aging issues emphasizing the needs of rural older adults.

AR-Map-Sites-190The AAI consists of a network of eight Centers of Aging (COA) whose mission also is to improve the quality of life for older adults and their families in the areas they serve. COAs provide older Arkansans with local access to specialized educational and clinical care. RIOA, established by a $28.8 million gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, is preparing for a first in the country’s history: by the end of 2019, there will be as many retired Americans as children. This demographic shift will force us to no longer just maintain a person’s life but ensure those extra years are healthier, more productive and viable. In 2009, the Reynolds Foundation provided an additional $33.4 million gift, enabling RIOA to broaden its services and continue providing outstanding health care to older persons in Arkansas.

Initiative Goals

AAI’s goals are to improve the health of older persons by providing more accessible specialty geriatric and interdisciplinary health care. This is accomplished through:

  • health care professionals with geriatric expertise working together as a team to serve the whole continuum of needs of older adults; and
  • funding through a portion of Arkansas’ share of the national Tobacco Settlement.  

Related Sites

For additional information, please call:  501-686-8948