Beasley Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Healthy Connections, Inc., has awarded Dr. Bill Beasley, DDS, with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Beasley, who is a dentist at Healthy Connections Mena (136 Health Park Lane), has been with Healthy Connections for more than seven years.

“It means a tremendous amount to me. Healthy Connections has really been good to me. I think that they have given me the freedom to practice in a manner that I wanted to do. And to do really high quality of work. They’ve provided what I needed and I have been able to do everything from implants to simple extractions,” Beasley said.

Dr. Beasley came to Healthy Connections in 2012 after working the previous 11 years in Little Rock. While he enjoyed working, he felt like he needed to get back to his roots a bit. Early in his career he had worked in public health and saw Healthy Connections as an opportunity to get back to that. He and his wife moved from Hot Springs Village to Mena and a special relationship started between him and Healthy Connections.

“I really enjoy just trying to meet the needs of people who don’t have the resources to get what they need,” Dr. Beasley said. “I just always felt like I’m going to take care of Healthy Connections and they’re going to take care of me, and the Lord is going to take care of both of us. That’s just been my attitude.”

And through a number of transitional stages in the dental department, Dr. Beasley has been a constant.

“Dr. Beasley has been a trooper for us,” said Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro. “He has been steady, consistent, and done whatever we needed him to do. Whenever others have left and there have been pieces to pick up, he’s been there. You couldn’t ask for a better employee.”

Dr. Beasley’s schedule has been reduced a bit in recent years. And now he’s involved in mentoring the newest dentists at Healthy Connections Mena, including Ian Craig, DMD, and Rachel Schroepfer, DMD.

“I have always felt the support from the administration and the Board, that they were able to help me. I’ve worked with many people in the dental department for a long time and really appreciate all of them,” Dr. Beasley said. “Healthy Connections could not have been any better, and I’ve tried to do my part for them. I have had a great experience and been so blessed to get to know so many people.”

Learn more about the Healthy Connections dental programs in Mena and Hot Springs at

New Malvern Clinic To Open Dec. 30

We’re excited to announce that the new Healthy Connections Medical and Behavioral Health Clinic will be open for business at 7:45 a.m. on Monday, December 30, 2019. The new clinic is located at Teeter Plaza at 900 Martin Luther King Boulevard.

With this move, we will double the number of patient exam rooms, have a dedicated area for behavioral health services, and provide a better overall patient experience in this state-of-the-art facility. The same services will continue to be provided. This includes primary care/family medicine, pediatrics, and behavioral health, including medication management.

The larger location will also allow for the future addition of more specialty services in Malvern.

Healthy Connections will continue to give Malvern School District students priority scheduling during school hours. This means your children won’t have to wait for an appointment if they get sick during the day. Malvern School District teachers and staff are also welcome to continue to receive care at the new location.

The Healthy Connections Community Health Network will continue to accept Medicaid, including ARKids First, Medicare, and most forms of health insurance. Additionally, we will continue to offer our sliding fee scale for patients without insurance. This sliding fee scale allows many to receive treatment who otherwise would not have been able to afford it.

Our plan is to continue to have the clinic closed during the week of Christmas in order to get everything moved and set up for our opening.

Healthy Connections will also continue to see patients at the College of the Ouachitas Health Center on select days. Please visit for details on services provided at COTO.

We encourage you to visit for more information. We’ll continue to provide updates there as we make arrangements for our grand opening.

Thank you for choosing Healthy Connections.

2019 Employee Awards Announced

Healthy Connections has announced its annual Employee Awards for 2019.

Awards were presented for both the East Clinics on December 6 in Hot Springs and the West Clinics on December 13 in Mena. A lifetime achievement award was also prevented to Mena Dentist Dr. Bill Beasley, DDS.

The 2019 employees of the year are Jeffrey Slatton (East) and Debbie Bailey (West) Slatton is the Business Development Specialist working throughout Healthy Connections on Marketing and Communications. Bailey works in Mena as the director of the Dental Department.

The 2019 Providers of the Year are Rachel Scrimshire, APRN (East), and Terri Barrada, APRN (West). Scrimshire works at the Healthy Connections clinic in Malvern. Barrada works at the Healthy Connections clinic in Mena.

And the 2019 Customer Service Awards were presented to Lynette Howell (East) and Ashley Polsey (West). Howell is the In-Person Assister and works with Outreach Community Marketing. Polsey is a patient care coordinator in Mena.

Healthy Connections has locations spanning from Mena to Little Rock and Arkadelphia to Hot Springs. The nonprofit organization was founded as a home-visiting program in 1998 and now includes Medical, Dental, Behavioral Health, and Specialty clinics at its various locations. Healthy Connections accepts Medicaid, Medicare, ArKids 1st, and most other private health insurances. There is also a sliding fee scale for patients without insurance, based on total family income.

Appointments can be made by calling toll free 1-888-710-8220.

Learn more about Healthy Connections at

Dealing With Stress Around the Holidays

The holiday season can bring uninvited visitors – and not just your in-laws. We’re talking about stress and depression which can arise in people during the holiday season due to a variety of circumstances, including parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, and entertaining. 

There are ways to minimize some of this stress, allowing you to enjoy the holiday season more than you might have previously thought possible. 

Set aside your differences with others 

Perhaps your family members or friends don’t always live up to your expectations. Accept that this is OK. Try to accept your family members and friends as they are. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding of others if they get upset or distressed when something doesn’t go as planned. It’s very possible they are dealing with some of the same issues that you are. 

Be realistic about the situation 

Did your holidays go perfect last year? That doesn’t mean they’re going to be perfect this year. The same is also true if last year’s holidays didn’t go so well. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to. Let others go if they aren’t quite as important. So, if your adult children and their families can’t come to your house on Christmas Day, choose another mutually agreed upon day. Or set up a video call with them via Skype or Facetime. There are plenty of ways to be together even if you can’t be together in person. Mostly, just remain flexible. 

Acknowledge your feelings about the situation 

If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s completely normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. 

Reach out 

If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out your community, religious, or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others is another great way to lift your spirits, broaden your horizons, and meet new people to make new memories with. 

Stick to a budget 

One of the most stressful things about the holiday season can be finances. Before you go shopping, decide how much money you can truly afford to spend. Then stick to that budget. Don’t try to buy happiness by buying a ton of gifts. You might also consider donating to a charity, giving homemade gifts, or start a family gift exchange. 

Don’t abandon your healthy habits 

Just because it’s the holiday season, doesn’t make it a free-for-all. This type of activity can lead to feelings of stress and guilt. Try having a healthy snack before going to a party where you know lots of unhealthy options are going to be available. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. And even though it’s cold outside, make sure you’re getting in your exercise. A brisk walk is a great way to get your blood pumping at the start of the day. 

Just say no 

No isn’t a dirty word. It’s OK for you to say no. And it’s OK for you to say no and feel perfectly fine about it. If you’re at an event and ready to leave, don’t stick around just because others are making you feel bad for leaving. Your friends will understand if you need to leave early or pass on an event altogether. If it’s not possible to say no (for instance at work), try to remove something else from your schedule to compensate for the time. 

Take a deep breath 

Make time for yourself. Take 15 minutes without distractions to meditate. It may refresh you enough to handle the things you have to do throughout the day. Clearing your mind can reduce stress, slow your breathing and restore your inner calm. 

Seek Professional Help 

Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable, and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings persist, talk to a licensed therapist about how you feel. 

Healthy Connections offers mental health therapists in Hot Springs, Mena, Malvern, Arkadelphia, and Mount Ida. These trained professionals can help get you back on track. Learn more about them and the services we provide at