Margaret Christensen has joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Schmieding Center for Health and Education in Springdale as project director for the $3.5 million Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Health Care Innovation Challenge Award.
Christensen will oversee the development and implementation of the award, announced in 2012, including a 40-hour family care advocate enhanced home caregiving training module. The new module, added to the existing Schmieding Caregiver Training Program, was developed to provide home caregivers with improved communication, evidenced based and person-centered care for older adults with chronic diseases.
Christensen earned her doctorate in education from Oklahoma State University and a degree in nursing from St. Francis School of Nursing in Wichita, Kan. She taught health services administration in both graduate and undergraduate programs at Ohio University and also served as director of Graduate Programs at Shawnee State University in Ohio.
For the past seven years, Christensen has worked at the Bella Vista Health Resource Center for the Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education in Bella Vista. She was named coordinator of senior community health programs there in 2010.
“UAMS and the Schmieding Center are most fortunate that Dr. Christensen has agreed to bring her leadership skills, nursing expertise and long experience in academic nursing education to this most important project,” said Larry D. Wright, M.D., executive director of the Schmieding Center and associate professor in the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine.
Developed at the UAMS Schmieding Center in Springdale, the caregiver training program offers four levels of certification for paid caregivers and two workshops for those who provide care to their family members. In 1998, the Schmieding Foundation donated $15 million to UAMS to establish and construct the center.