Pediatrician Porter Speaks with Lake Hamilton ESOL

Dr. Jeremy Porter of My Kids Pediatric Clinic in Hot Springs participated in the Lake Hamilton ESOL Family Night on Monday, Feb. 27, in Pearcy.

Porter, who sees patients for My Kids Pediatric Clinic in Hot Springs, speaks Spanish. ESOL stands for English Speakers of Other Languages.At ESOL Family Night, students and their families enjoyed fellowship and leanred about the cultures and tradition of other families.

Dr. Porter sees patients in Hot Springs at 3604 Central Ave., Suite D, and Malvern at 900 MLK Blvd. Call 888-710-8220 for appointments. Visit for more information.

Celebrating Phyllis Cuningham

Healthy Connections, Inc., held a special event on Tuesday to celebrate the retirement of Director of Nursing Phyllis Cunningham.

She has spent the past 14 years with Healthy Connections and the past 32 years in nursing. She has been an amazing leader to us all and we wish her the best in the next chapter of her life.

“Kindness is so critical to our success and to making our workplace happy. I love Maya Angelou’s quote: ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ I’ve always tried to live by that,” Cunningham said. “I don’t know that I bring a lot of skill but I do try to bring that. Being kind and loving people and caring about people makes all of our work every day so much easier.”

Cunningham has been a part of tremendous growth for Healthy Connections in her 14 years with the organization. When she started, Healthy Connections had just two clinics – Mena and Mt. Ida. There are now 13 clinics in nine communities stretched from Little Rock to De Queen.

“From the staff and everyone at Healthy Connections, we want to let Phyllis know how much we appreciate you,” said Tony Calandro, CEO of Healthy Connections, Inc. “I think everyone is aware of how large we have gotten and Phyllis has gone along with the paces the entire time. In everything we have done, she has stepped up.”

Cunningham is known for her sense of humor and sayings that bring smiles to the faces of her co-workers. One of her favorites is, “We choose our attitude every single day.”

“This has been a great place. There are so many opportunities here,” Cunningham said.

Thanks, Phyllis for all you’ve done for our patients, co-workers, and communities.

National Children’s Dental Health Month

Healthy Connections, Inc., kicked off National Children’s Dental Health month this week by offering dental sealants to elementary students in Polk County.

National Children’s Dental Health Month is sponsored each year by the American Dental Association (ADA) to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. This year’s theme is “Brush, Floss, Smile”.

The Healthy Connections dental staff in Mena in cooperation with the students from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Dental Hygiene program. Each Thursday, these students travel to Mena to assist with applying sealants and fluoride varnish for the students.
Dental sealants are a plastic material that is placed by dental professionals on the chewing surfaces of permanent back teeth to prevent cavities. The sealant provides a physical barrier that prevents cavity-causing bacteria from attacking the surface of the tooth. The thinner, weaker enamel in the deep grooves of the chewing surface of the tooth cause this area to be prone to tooth decay. Left untreated, tooth decay can eventually lead to pain, poor dental and physical health and tooth loss.

Dental sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80 percent.

This experience is often the child’s first trip to the dentist so the Healthy Connections’ team blocks off a full day of regular patient care and engages help from the entire staff to provide a fun atmosphere where the children are taught the proper techniques in brushing and the benefits of oral health habits. By increasing dental health and hygiene, the child’s overall health outlook is enhanced and improved. Healthy Connections’ dental sealant program reflects our mission and vision to promote health and wellness for our children and families in the Western Arkansas area.

Children that participate in our Dental Sealant Program receive instruction in Oral Hygiene, such as how to brush and floss, and are given a toothbrush and dental floss to take home.

Learn more about our dental services in Mena by visiting

January Employees of the Month

It was cold in January but our January 2023 Healthy Connections Employees of the Month kept things warm and toasty throughout our Community Health Network. These Shining Stars went above and beyond this month. Congratulations to:


WEST: Shona Palmer

EAST: Cindy Dillavou

Each month across the Healthy Connections Community Health Network, exemplary employees are nominated for this award for representing our Three Pillars: Excellence, Compassion, and Community. These pillars are considered heavily when choosing winners.

As winners of this Shining STAR award, Shona and Cindy are winners of a $50 gift card to the HC Hub Company Store.

Shona is a nurse at the Mena Clinic. Cindy is a patient care coordinator in Arkadelphia. Check out these amazing comments left by their coworkers when nominating them for this award:

  • Shona has shown so much initiative, knowledge, and compassion for her patients and to us coworkers. She makes my day go by so much better.”
  • Shona is amazing with her patients. She helps her team. She is very knowledgeable and shares her knowledge with others. She has become a very crucial part of the nursing team at Mena.”
  • Shona exemplifies the Healthy Connections pillars consistently on a daily basis. She is an excellent nurse, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and dedicated to doing her best always. Shona is great with our patients and has such a heart for those in need. She never shies away from a challenge, remains positive even on the hard days, and always puts her best foot forward.”
  • Cindy is an amazing asset to our company. She is dependable, loyal, hardworking, and caring. She truly cares about all our patients and every patient she comes into contact with can feel her love. You know the saying: “They have a heart of gold.” That is Cindy. She is truly meant to be in healthcare, and I am so thankful that I have her as a coworker and that our patients have her on their healthcare team.”
  • “I nominate Cindy for this award because she is dependable, kind, task-oriented, and compassionate about what she does. She has been extremely helpful in picking up an extra day every week at Hot Springs just to help out. She makes the day go by smoothly and also keeps the work day fun. I am so thankful to have her as a co-worker and believe she deserves this award!”
  • Cindy is a breath of fresh air. She is always looking out for the staff, patients, and clinic. She goes above and beyond to decorate the clinic for the holidays and makes sure the outside of the clinic is clean and has even planted flowers on her own. She helps out in other clinics when and where needed. She always has a smile on her face, and always has a pleasant attitude.”

Congratulations to both Shona and Cindy.

Thanks again this month to everyone who nominated an employee. There were a lot of great nominations. Do you know who should be our next employees to be recognized? You can nominate them by visiting