As a child, Rachel Scrimshire spent a lot of time inside doctors’ offices and hospitals due to a heart defect. She marveled at the care she received from her nurses. Ever since she knew she wanted to be a nurse so that she could pay tribute to those who cared for her.

She’s now doing just that as the new APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) at Healthy Connections Arkadelphia, a medical clinic located at 3034 A Pine Street.

“All I ever really wanted to be was a nurse,” Scrimshire said. “I’d always come around with my nurse bag taking care of things. As I got older, I learned what a nurse practitioner was and knew that’s what I wanted to be.”

An APRN is a nurse with post-graduate education in nursing and performs many of the same duties as physicians.

Scrimshire was born in Florida into a military family and lived five years in England before finally settling in Malvern. She graduated from Malvern High School and lived in Arkadelphia while attending Henderson State University, working her way through college.

“I used to work at [Arkadelphia’s] Brookshire’s way back when. They put me through nursing school,” Scrimshire said.

Healthy Connections Arkadelphia provides a full range of medical services for both children and adults. The clinic is open from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Call 870.230.1280 for an appointment or just walk in for fast, convenient care when you need it.

Scrimshire is married and has two children. She loves to hunt and fish in her time away from the clinic.

“If we’re off, we’re outdoors doing something,” she said.

Healthy Connections accepts most forms of medical insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare. However, no person will be turned away for lack of insurance. Qualified families will be charged according to their total family income. Enrollment assistance is also available for Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Walk-ins are also welcome without an appointment, though your insurance company may require that you change your provider.

“We provide care to patients that desperately need it, even the uninsured,” Scrimshire said. “And that makes me feel like I’m giving back to my community.”

Healthy Connections, Inc., was founded in 1998 as a home visiting program and now operates nine clinics throughout Southwest Arkansas. Depending on location, services include primary and preventative medical care, general dentistry, radiology, cardiology and behavioral services. Learn more at www.healthy-connections.org.