Free School Physicals in De Queen Aug. 19

Healthy Connections will provide free school and sports physicals in De Queen on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Free physicals will be offered at the Healthy Connections Angie Martin, APRN, clinic at 1306 W. Collin Raye Drive. The clinic is temporarily located at the old De Queen Hospital. Physicals will be given from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and no appointment is necessary.

“De Queen and Sevier County have been hit hard by Covid-19 over the past months and Healthy Connections is proud to provide this service free of charge,” said Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro.

There will also be a back-to-school supply treasure chest full of items for each child, while supplies last. Call 888-710-8220 or 870-642-4364 for more information. Habrá proveedores de habla hispana disponibles.

Healthy Connections is also providing free Covid-19 testing at the De Queen Clinic. Call 888-710-8220 for appointments and visit for more information.

Martin began working full-time with Healthy Connections in July. Her clinic, which is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, is temporarily located at the old De Queen Hospital. Later this year, she will move to a newly-remodeled space at the current Healthy Connections clinic, which is located just across the street at 1206 W. Collin Raye Drive. The main clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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 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.


National Health Center Week

Healthy Connections, Inc., is joining Community Health Centers across the nation in marking National Health Center Week (NHCW).

The campaign is an annual celebration to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers for more than five decades. This year’s observation is significantly different from years past due to Covid-19. This year we honor the innovative work of the health centers in addressing the pandemic and the memory of providers, staff, and beloved patients who lost their lives to the virus.

“At Healthy Connections we are driven by the mission that we can provide quality health care to the population in the areas we serve – a population that has been neglected in the past,” Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro said. “This year we were charged with providing mass testing for Covid-19 in both the areas we serve and beyond. We responded by providing more than 4,000 free Covid-19 tests outside of our clinics at pop-up locations from Little Rock to Texarkana.”

Healthy Connections, Inc., which is based in Mena, is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with clinics in Little Rock, Hot Springs, Mena, Malvern, Arkadelphia, Mount Ida, and De Queen. The Healthy Connections Community Health Network includes Evolve Behavioral Health and Medication Management, Little Rock’s Health For Life Clinic, Mena’s Rich Mountain Chiropractic, and Healthy HouseCalls, a new home-visiting program scheduled to debut in 2020.

For most services, Healthy Connections accepts Medicaid, ARKids 1st, Medicare, and most private health insurance. There is also a sliding-fee scale for patients without health insurance who qualify. Medicaid patients may be required to switch their primary care provider to Healthy Connections before they can be seen.

Specialties offered include primary care, pediatrics, behavioral health, dental, cardiology, podiatry, chiropractic, wound care, addiction treatment, HIV/AIDS care, and hormone therapy for both men and women. Learn more about Healthy Connections at

Community Health Centers are the largest primary health care system in the U.S., serving more than 30 million patients.  More than 95 percent of health centers can test for the virus and have tested more than 2.4 million people since April. About 14 percent of tests are positive – far higher than the national average because many health center patients are America’s essential workers, people who harvest our food, stock grocery store shelves, or clean public spaces, and who do not have the luxury of telework or paid leave.  Health centers serve onethird of all people living in poverty. Two-thirds of patients are members of racial and ethnic minorities.

“As soon as the COVID virus was identified in the U.S. our health centers moved quickly to offer telehealth and to set up thousands of testing sites across the country — both stationary and mobile — while putting their own lives on the line,” said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). “Their efforts have been critical to keeping non-emergency cases out of our already overburdened hospitals.”

The 236,000 dedicated staff at health centers have sacrificed greatly for their efforts to save lives: more than 11,300 have tested positive for the virus.

Van Coverden also noted the financial toll that the pandemic has exacted on health center operations.  “Thousands of sites have been forced to close. Health centers need at least $7.6 billion to keep their doors open through November; and even more important stabilized operational long-term funding is needed beyond November. Congress has been helpful with limited funding, but, it’s not enough. Many health centers are still at risk.”

The theme for NHCW 2020 is “Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future.” During this week of remembrance, health center advocates will light candles on behalf of community health leaders and patients who were lost in the fight against COVID.


Free Covid-19 Testing at HS Community Fair Aug. 15

Healthy Connections, Inc., will provide completely free Covid-19 tests at the 6th Annual Hot Springs Community Resource Fair, Back to School Bash, and Samaritan’s Shoe Giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 15.

The event, which will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Historic Hot Springs Farmers Market (121 Orange St., Hot Springs. It is sponsored by Difference Makers of Hot Springs and will include free backpacks and school supplies, free tennis shoes for children, and free refreshments.

Note that social distancing and face coverings are required for all attendees.

“We are proud to support Difference Makers of Hot Springs and the 2020 Community Resource Fair,” said Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro. “This event is a continuation of the work our staff has done throughout the past two months to provide free Covid-19 tests to Arkansas.”

See how the test is given and learn more about Healthy Connections’ free testing program at

Since late May, Mena-based nonprofit Healthy Connections has held 30 events in 13 cities and 10 counties and provided nearly 4,000 free Covid-19 tests.

Healthy Connections is also testing patients at all of its medical clinics in Mena, Little Rock, Hot Springs, Malvern, Arkadelphia, Mount Ida, and De Queen. In-clinic tests are considered medical appointments and patients should call 888-710-8220 to schedule. Healthy Connections accepts Medicaid, ArKids 1st, Medicare, and most private health insurance. There is also a sliding-fee scale for patients without health insurance who qualify. Health insurance companies are waiving all copays for Covid-19 testing.

Healthy Connections clinics are open, safe, healthy, and here for the communities they serve. The Healthy Connections community health network is a federally-qualified health center (FQHC). Healthy Connections and Evolve Behavioral Health both accept Medicaid, ARKids 1st, Medicare, and most private health insurance. There is also a sliding-fee scale for patients without health insurance who qualify. Medicaid patients may be required to switch their primary care provider to Healthy Connections before they can be seen. Learn more about Healthy Connections at