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Springdale's Pathway Academy gets $500K gift, new name

KNWA Fayetteville logo KNWA Fayetteville 6/23/2022 C.C. McCandless
Springdale's Pathway Academy gets $500K gift, new name © Provided by KNWA Fayetteville Springdale's Pathway Academy gets $500K gift, new name

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) - The Schmieding Foundation, Inc., gifted $500,000 to Springdale's Pathway Academy, which will be renamed the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Schmieding Foundation Pathways Academy of Springdale in recognition of the nonprofit's continued support for UAMS.

According to a press release, the Pathways Academy program is “a statewide initiative managed by the UAMS Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DDEI) that works to prepare low-income K-12 students for educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health care (STEM-H) disciplines.”

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"We are excited to partner with UAMS to help provide students in Springdale the necessary resources to prepare them for careers in STEM-H" said Lance Taylor, president of Schmieding Foundation, Inc. "Through this program, we will not only increase education opportunities in the state, but we will also help grow the workforce to transform Arkansas into a regional health care leader."

The goal of the program is to diversify the health care workforce in Arkansas, advancing a strategic objective outlined in Vision 2029 - UAMS' plan to deliver dramatic and lasting health and health care improvements to make Arkansas the healthiest state in the region through its synergies of education, clinical care and research. In addition to Springdale, there are Pathway Academies in Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs and Jonesboro.

"To address the gaps in health care in Arkansas, we must diversify our medical workforce and that begins with engaging K-12 students of all backgrounds in STEM-H programming," said Brian Gittens, Ed.D., MPA, UAMS vice chancellor for DDEI. "The UAMS Pathways Academy program is key to achieving the goals of Vision 2029, and we are grateful for the Schmieding Foundation for its support of the program."

Beyond STEM­H programming, the UAMS Schmieding Foundation Pathways Academy curriculum will also incorporate concepts related to nutrition, mental health, community service and other life skills. Students will also participate in experiential site visits, including trips to the academy, to learn firsthand about the array of STEM­H careers available to them.

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In addition to the academy, the Schmieding Foundation's commitment to the health care and education of children in Northwest Arkansas includes the nonprofit's support through UAMS Schmieding Kids First and the UAMS Schmieding Developmental Center. The nonprofit, which was created by brothers Lawrence and Hubert "Bert" Schmieding, also constructed and provided programmatic and operational resources for the Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education in Springdale, the first facility of its kind in the state. Now, it is a nationally-recognized program for healthy aging. In 2019, the Schmieding Foundation generously gifted the building to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees for the benefit of UAMS.

"UAMS is humbled by the continued support of the Schmieding Foundation and are inspired by its leadership in health care and education in Northwest Arkansas," said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. "The UAMS Schmieding Foundation Pathways Academy is further evidence of Lawrence Schmieding's lasting legacy of generosity for young and old alike."

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