Thanks Dr. Sessler

Healthy Connections honored Dr. Lonnie Sessler with a reception attended by employees and others from the Mena health care community. Dr. Sessler is retiring after 44 years of service, including the past 15 with Healthy Connections.

After graduating from Uniontown (Kan.) High School in 1966, Dr. Sessler received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1970. He also married Sandra that same year.

He received his Medical Degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and went on active duty with the U.S. Navy. He started his residency in Family Practice at the Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. He served as a naval physician for seven years in Florida, Tennessee and Scotland.

The family moved to Mena in 1982 and he became managing partner at Austin Medical Clinic, where he served the community for 17 years. He also worked at Mountain View Clinic before starting with Healthy Connections in Mena in 2003.

While working as a family practice physician in Mena, he was also staff physician, and sometimes Chief of Staff, at Mena Medical Center/Mena Regional Health System. Dr. Sessler was also an emergency room physician there, both full time and part time.

His military career did not end after retiring from the Navy. Dr. Sessler joined the Army National Guard and served as Battalion and Brigade Surgeon in the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade. He was placed on active duty and served in Operation Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991.

Over the years, he participated in several foreign medical missions – both through the military and privately. These missions included Panama in 1977, Guatemala in 1990, Ecuador in 1993 and Haiti in 2016 and 2017. He also plans to return to Haiti later this year.

Thanks to Dr. Sessler for all he has done for the Mena community.

Back to School: Choosing a Backpack

You’re child likely needs a backpack for school. Just remember that all backpacks are not the same and there are some things you should be watching for as you drop your child off for school in the morning. Learn more with Dr. Jeremy Porter in this week’s Back to School Tip.

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Celebrating National Health Center Week 2018

This week, Healthy Connections is celebrating National Health Center Week 2018.  The event is part of a national campaign during the week of August 12-18 to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers and the dedicated staff who bring health care to the medically underserved.

Healthy Connections is part of a nationwide network of health centers that serve more than 27 million Americans.  Health centers have compiled a significant record of success that includes:

  • Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings;
  • Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;
  • Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit;
  • Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent;
  • Serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget;
  • Lowering the cost of children’s primary care by approximately 35 percent

The heroes who work at health centers and help make affordable health care possible for people in need are at the center of this year’s NHCW.  More than 205,000 people work at health centers in positions that include clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dentists and dental hygienists, behavioral health specialists, and much more.  Working together, these health care heroes produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and substance use disorders. It is their work that has helped reduce health care costs and reduce chronic disease, generating a record of success and along with it a long tradition of bipartisan support in Congress.

To learn more about National Health Center Week and the listing of events please visit: