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The Healthy Connections Franklin Community Health Center will open to see patients beginning on Monday, February 3.

The primary care/family medicine clinic is located at 1701 St. Harrison St., on the site of the former Franklin Incisive Elementary School. The medical staff will include Chris Hopkinson, MD, and Christina Downes, APRN. Appointments can be booked by calling (888) 710-8220 or visiting www.healthy-connections.org/appointment.

The opening of the clinic is the first stage of Community Health Centers of Arkansas’ vision of the Franklin Community Health Complex, which will be housed in the school building. For now, Healthy Connections, which was chosen by CHCA in 2018 as the healthcare provider, has set up shop with its clinic in the parking lot.

“The Franklin project is really the culmination of everything we’ve done everywhere else in Arkansas,” said Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro. “There is a significant need in the patient population that surrounds the Franklin school. When you look at that patient population, you’re looking at patients who have not been able to access quality, affordable healthcare.”

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. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Healthy Connections providers treat thousands of patients each who either have no insurance or not enough insurance to cover essential health services.

At the Franklin Community Health Center, providers 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.

“The fact that this is something a bit different, and a bit new, is really exciting,” Dr. Hopkinson said. “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.

Learn more about the Franklin Community Health Center at www.healthy-connections.org/franklin.