The South Arkansas Center on Aging was the first center

established with Tobacco Settlement funding. The

 Tai Chi Program at SACOA

most popular programs are Tai Chi, Healthy Cooking and Discussions with the Doctor. Counting all of their various

programs, the SACOA had more than 15,000 educational

encounters over the past two years. They also had a very

busy senior health clinic where they had more than 11,000



In 2009, SACOA expanded its programs addressing mind, body

and spirit when it received a $30,000 grant from the King

Foundation to initiate a tai chi program for older adults in

South Arkansas. SACOA’s tai chi program lets participants set

their own pace of gentle exercise and stretching, performing

each position slowly and with much grace.

Healthy Cooking is offered in two counties with a request

from four other counties to begin the program when funding

allows. “Discussions with the Doctor” educates older adults

of South Arkansas in Union and Columbia Counties, with

local doctors giving of their time and talent to educate our



In May 2009, the South Arkansas Symphony performed at the

First Financial Symphony on the Square, playing songs from

the Big Band era as well as patriotic music and Broadway

show tunes. The Senior Symphony, which offered older adults

an opportunity to enjoy music of all types, resulted from a

partnership of the South Arkansas Symphony, First Financial

Bank and SACOA.


The first performance, which was in the afternoon at

Westside Baptist Church, included a reception for the South

Arkansas Symphony musicians and those senior adults

attending the event. That evening, the Symphony played on

the east lawn of the Union County Courthouse in El DoradoEl Dorado

to honor veterans with an armed forces salute.


SACOA leveraged $107,058 in funding, volunteer time

committed and in-kind resources in 2008 and 2009.

SACOA Counties

 This center serves eight counties in south Arkansas: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita and Union.