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Thanks to U.S. Rep. French Hill for dropping by the Healthy Connections Little Rock Franklin clinic on Wednesday as part of National Nurse’s Day.

Hill dropped off some sweet treats for our staff and was able to visit with Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro, Little Rock Franklin physician Dr. Chris Hopkinson, nurse Sarah Jennings, LPN, and other staff members. Hill is the U.S. Representative for Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District and was first elected in 2014. Congress is responsible for much of the funding for community health centers, including Healthy Connections, Inc.

In health care, gaps are described as disparities in healthcare access, needs, and medical services when comparing different populations that fall along racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines. The mission of Healthy Connections, Inc., is to fill those gaps with high-quality healthcare our communities can be proud of. Healthy Connections is a Mena-based nonprofit organization serving the needs of children and adults throughout West-Central Arkansas. Since its founding in 1998 as a home-visiting program, Healthy Connections has been able to provide much-needed health, dental and social services to families of every lifestyle.

Healthy Connections providers treat thousands of patients each year who either have no insurance or not enough insurance to cover essential health and dental services.

Healthy Connections has become a lot of things to the five communities it currently serves as a primary care provider, dentist, pediatrician, behavioral health therapist, cardiologist, podiatrist, and physical therapist. But mostly it is a place people can go to receive quality care regardless of their ability to pay. Healthy Connections accepts Medicaid, including ArKids First, Medicare, and most forms of health and dental insurance. However, no person will be turned away for lack of insurance. Qualified families will be charged according to their total family income and total persons living in the household. This sliding scale fee allows many to receive treatment who otherwise would not have been able to afford it.

The Little Rock Franklin clinic opened earlier this year on the site of the former Franklin Elementary School in Little Rock. The health clinic is currently set up in the parking lot but will eventually move inside the building once the Community Health Centers of Arkansas Franklin Complex opens to the public. At the Franklin clinic, Healthy Connections provides primary care services for patients, including testing for COVID-19, regardless of symptoms.

Learn more about the Franklin clinic at www.healthy-connections.org/franklin.