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Healthy Connections, Inc., continues its Behavioral Health program expansion with the addition of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Charl Buxton.

Buxton will practice at 3604 Central Ave., in Hot Springs. Her office can be reached by calling 501-463-4074.

Western Arkansas is an area with limited availability of psychiatrists and the PMHNP helps bridge that gap for cost-effective mental health care.

“The ultimate goal is to do what’s best for the patient,” Buxton said. “If a therapist, or any provider, get a patient they don’t feel comfortable prescribing psychiatric medications for, they are welcome to refer to me.”

Buxton will diagnose and treat common psychiatric problems, mental illnesses, and crisis situations. She will also assess the mental health needs of individuals, families, and groups, formulate healthcare plans, implement treatment and evaluate the effectiveness of the patients’ short- and long-term progress.

PMHNPs also:

  • Offer outpatient care to address sudden changes in a patient’s mental status or chronic mental conditions
  • Perform various patient assessments
  • Develop holistic, cross-disciplinary treatment plans
  • Prescribe medications in compliance with state scope of practice laws
  • Collaborate with doctors and make appropriate patient referrals
  • Analyze the effectiveness of treatments
  • Education patients, families and others on challenges in mental health

Buxton is able to see both established Healthy Connections patients and can take referrals from other healthcare providers.

Healthy Connections’ Behavioral Health program features Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) in Hot Springs, Malvern, Arkadelphia, and Mount Ida, who diagnose and treat mental, emotional and behavioral health issues. LCSW’s provide therapy and treatment but do not prescribe medications. This is where the PMHNP steps in.

“If they are getting therapy and something sparks in the therapist that there may be a medication that can help with this, they will refer them to me. I do my assessment on them and get them the medication they need,” Buxton said

Buxton is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati. She comes to Healthy Connections after working at Levi Hospital in Hot Springs. She is also a Women’s Nurse Practitioner. She said her life experiences – some of which have been traumatic – give her a special connection with behavioral health patients.

“I feel like I can relate better to the mental health population because I have been through a variety of things. You have to be strong to get through these things,” Buxton said.

Buxton sees patients Monday through Thursday.

Learn more about Healthy Connections’ Behavioral Health program at www.healthy-connections.org/bh.