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.
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 www.healthy-connections.org/franklin.