A Quarter-Century of Care


In health care, gaps are described as disparities in healthcare access, needs, and medical services when comparing different populations. It may fall along racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic lines. And that is where we thrive.

For more than a quarter-century, Healthy Connections has filled those gaps with high-quality healthcare, dental, behavioral health, and social services. We are a Mena-based nonprofit organization serving the needs of children and adults throughout Central and Western Arkansas. Since our founding in 1998, Healthy Connections has been able to provide much-needed services to families of every lifestyle.

It started from humble beginnings. Based on a community need assessment, Healthy Connections was formed as a home-visiting program to work with new and expectant mothers. This program would provide education, encouragement, education, and resources to ensure these new moms got their babies off to a great start in life.

As needs grew, so did Healthy Connections. First came Western Arkansas Total Community Health, or W.A.T.C.H. as it was known. It grew to a second location in Mount Ida and then to a location at Acorn Schools. De Queen and Hot Springs followed as services were needed.

Today, Healthy Connections is a thriving and growing organization with clinics and services available all over Arkansas. The footprint stretches as far north as Russellville, as far west as Sheridan, as far south as De Queen, and to our home base in Mena.

“We’re driven by the mission that we can provide quality health care to the population in the areas we serve. That is a population that has been neglected in the past,” said Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro. “This population is considered underserved for a lot of services – medical, dental, and behavioral health. We allow them to have easy access, affordable access, to quality health care.”

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

Healthy Connections has become a lot of things to the communities it serves, including primary care providers, dentists, pediatricians, therapists, specialists, and community service workers. But mostly it remains a place the community can receive quality care.

At Healthy Connections, we use our Three Pillars to guide our actions each day.


Community comes first as it is the most visible aspect of the three pillars. We want to serve our communities, but we also want to be part of them. That means high school football Friday nights and local performances downtown. It means community events and positively representing our communities.


No one knows what anyone else has been through or is going through. Our employees strive to show compassion to everyone who walks through the doors of our clinics. This means assisting in whatever way possible to ensure that everyone is welcome and comfortable when they visit us.


We want to be known as an excellent provider. We want to see five-star reviews from our patients after they visit. It is the expectation that we will provide the highest quality, excellent care to everyone who walks through the doors.

Healthy Connections accepts Medicaid, including ArKids 1st, 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 the total number of persons living in the household. This sliding-fee scale allows many to receive treatment who otherwise would not have been able to afford it.