Mission Statement

“Improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve with a commitment to excellence in all that we do.”

Vision Statement

“Healthy Connections, Inc. is an organization focused on enhancing the health of people and the community-at-large through a professional, caring staff who are motivated, enthusiastic, respectful, energetic and committed to effective partnerships”.


Our Story

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.

“We’re driven from 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 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 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.

Healthy Connections has 12 medical clinics, including two school-based clinics (Acorn, Mount Ida), where physicians and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses provide primary and preventive medical services and professional counselors provide Behavioral Health Services.

There are two dental clinics, providing a full range of services including preventing, evaluating, diagnosing and treating diseases of the oral cavity while maintaining the function and appearance of the teeth.

Two pediatrics clinics provide care to the children of Arkansas, including a bilingual physician in Hot Springs. This ensures Healthy Connections can provide a high level of service to our patients and families, regardless of any potential communication roadblocks.

Healthy Connections provides behavioral health services to four communities through Licensed Clinical Social Workers, professional counselors, and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. This has become a great need for many of the communities served by Healthy Connections.

Outreach services are also provided through Healthy Families Arkansas Polk and Garland Counties. Through regular home visits and monthly group meetings, the Healthy Connections staff strives to empower families to provide a healthy, nurturing environment for their children. This a free national evidence-based initiative to help parents get their children off to a healthy start.

In 2018, Healthy Connections signed on to be the medical provider for the Franklin Community Health Center in Little Rock. On the site of the former Franklin Elementary School, medical and community services will be made available to the community. This clinic will open in December 2019.

Healthy Connections is governed by a board comprised of local citizens representative of the demographics of our local communities. More than half are clients of our clinics.

Board of Directors

  • Derwood Brett, Chairman
  • William Edwards II, Vice-Chair
  • Al Gathright, Secretary
  • Kim Armstrong. PhD
  • Billie Holsomback
  • Dalton Hopper
  • Bruce W. Jones
  • Sherry Johnston
  • Steve Rook, PhD
  • Stephen Warrick, PD

Senior Management Team

  • Tony Calandro, Chief Executive Officer
  • Susan Singleton, Chief Financial Officer
  • Doreen Tapley, Chief Operating Officer
  • Lonnie Sessler, M.D. Chief Medical Officer
  • Thomas Jefferson, M.D. Associate Medical Director
  • Jessica Hood, Director of Nursing
  • Todd Griffin, Director of Human Resources
  • Tosha Lance, Director of Revenue Cycle
  • Stephanie Matthews, Director of Behavioral Health Services
  • Andrea Wright, Director of Practice Management
  • Tina Allison, Director of Ancillary Services