Healthy Connections Clinics Earn PCMH Recognition

NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home™ standards emphasize enhanced care through patient-clinician partnership

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced that Healthy Connections, Inc., clinics in Mena, Hot Springs, Malvern, Arkadelphia, Mount Ida, and De Queen have received NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care.

The Healthy Connections Montgomery County Community Clinic in Mount Ida (534 Luzerne St.) previously earned this recognition. Other clinics now recognized include:

Appointments for these clinics can be made by calling toll free (888) 710-8220.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from NCQA,” said Tony Calandro, CEO of Healthy Connections. “This is a testament to the mission of Healthy connections to provide outstanding, compassionate care to the patients we serve.”

Healthy Connections has three of Arkansas’ 13 PCMH Certified Content Experts on its staff, including Michelle Gibson, RN; Amanda Barrett, LPN, and Rachel Tomaskovic, RN.

To earn recognition, Healthy Connections demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

Over the past 21 years, Healthy Connections has become a lot of things to the communities it services, including primary care/family medicine provider, dentist, pediatrician, or medical specialist. But mostly it is a place all people can go to receive quality care regardless of their ability to pay.

Healthy Connections accepts Medicaid, including ARKids 1st, Medicare and most private health insurances. There are also appointment openings for all patients, sometimes even same-day, at all of the clinics. As a Federally-Qualified Health Center, Healthy Connections providers treat thousands of patients each year who have no insurance or not enough insurance to cover essential health and dental services. This is done as part of a sliding-fee schedule, which is determined by the total family income of the patient. Qualified applicants can receive treatment at a reduced rate.

For more information, visit

About NCQA
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA’s Web site ( contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices.


Hopkinson New Little Rock MD

Healthy Connections welcomes Chris Hopkinson, MD, to the Little Rock Franklin Community Health Center.

Hopkinson will see patients at Healthy Connections’ newest clinic beginning on Monday, February 3. Clinic hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The clinic is located at 1701 South Harrison St. in Little Rock, at the site of the former Franklin Incisive Elementary School.

Ultimately, the Healthy Connections Franklin clinic will be a part of the Franklin Community Health Complex, which is being developed at the site by Community Health Centers of Arkansas, which purchased the property in 2018.

To make appointments with Dr. Hopkinson, please call (888) 710-8220 or visit

Hopkinson is a native of Sheffield, England, and did his medical training in both Sheffield, UK, and Newcastle, UK. He grew up wanting to be a doctor, as early as age 7, because it seemed like it would provide a good life for him. What he found was a passion for caring for his patients.

“The main thing is just the ability to help people. It’s an incredible privilege to be hearing people’s stories and to be invited into their difficulties and given the opportunities to help in some way,” he said.

Medical care in the UK is provided through the National Health Service. Hopkinson said he believes the model of care offered by Federally Qualified Health Centers, like Healthy Connections, is the “closest you can find to the type of care we have back home.”

He married his wife, Jennifer, a Little Rock native in 2006. And when the couple decided to move their family to the United States, they chose Little Rock. Hopkinson was able to get his medical license first in Oklahoma and then in Arkansas. He’s also done work with Community Health Centers of Arkansas and was a part of the speaker series last year at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

And now he’s excited to get started at the site of the historic Franklin school.

“The fact that this is something a bit different, and a bit new, is really exciting. I think that the vision of a health complex that blends education, primary care, behavioral health, and other health related services has the potential to be really impactful in this community,” he said.

Healthy Connections, which is based in Mena but has clinics in Hot Springs, Malvern, Arkadelphia, Mount Ida, and De Queen, strives to fill the healthcare access gaps in Arkansas. Since it’s founding in 1998 as a home-visiting program, Healthy Connections has provided much-needed health, dental and social services to families from nearly every lifestyle.

Each year, Healthy Connections providers treat thousands of patients who either have no insurance or not enough insurance to cover essential health services. In that regard, Healthy Connections has become a place people can go to receive quality care regardless of their ability to pay.

At the Franklin Community Health Center, Hopkinson will see patients of all ages. The clinic accepts Medicaid, ARKids 1st, Medicare and most private health insurance. There is also a sliding fee scale for patients without health insurance. The fee is determined by the total household income of the patient and can help patients to see significant discounts.

Away from the clinic, Hopkinson likes to do anything he can outdoors.

“Hiking, climbing, canoeing, biking – all things you can do in Arkansas. And being able to do these things with my family. They love to get out there even though their just little guys right now,” he said.

Learn more about the Franklin Community Health Center at

Pediatrics 101 Feb. 1 at Garland County Library

Join Healthy Connections Pediatrics Clinic at the Garland County Library for Pediatrics 101 at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 1.

Jeremy Porter, MD, and Nicole Meggers, LCSW, will present information related to the Garland County Library’s most requested topic: Pediatrics Behavioral Health. Porter and Meggers will talk about behavioral health issues for children that adults may not have thought to be so common. Typically, parents and caregivers don’t talk to pediatricians about behavioral health issues until the children are having problems with performance at school our trouble with relationships, peers, or authority. Or the parents are at the “end of their rope” and looking for answers.

Porter will explain issues, symptoms, and signals to some common and uncommon behavioral problems. He will offer solutions and information every caregiver will benefit from. Porter said, “We are all people,  but somehow children’s emotional difficulties can be unexpected by adults.” Porter is also comfortable speaking Spanish for parents and children whose primary language is not English.

Meggers, who is a licensed clinical social worker and children’s psychotherapist, will then have a Q&A to answer any questions you may have.

In order to attend, you have to reserve your spot. Please visit this link to sign up.