February Employees of the Month

Healthy Connections is proud to announce our February 2024 Employees of the Month: Charlotte Craig from our West Communities and Andrea Pilcher from our East Communities.

These recognitions are a testament to their outstanding contributions and embodiment of our core values: Community, Compassion, and Excellence. Each month, we celebrate team members who exemplify these principles, making a significant impact in their roles and in the lives of those we serve.

Charlotte Craig, a billing specialist who has been with Healthy Connections since 2017, works remotely to ensure the seamless operation of our financial services. Charlotte’s role is critical in maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of our billing processes, directly affecting our ability to care for patients and support our staff. A colleague’s nomination praised her, stating, “Charlotte is extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help anyone. She is so kind and good-hearted, truly wanting the best for our patients and coworkers. She strives to ensure that our patients are taken care of in a timely manner, demonstrating her commitment to compassion and excellence in every task she undertakes.”

Andrea Pilcher, our East Communities winner, has been a pivotal part of Healthy Connections since 2016, serving as a Clinical Territory Lead at the Hot Springs Central clinic. Andrea’s role is instrumental in mentoring new nurses and providers, ensuring they receive top-notch training and support. Her dedication to excellence is evident in the way she goes above and beyond for her team, as highlighted by a coworker: “She provides excellent training and has ensured that both nurses and providers’ onboarding experience and training are of the highest quality.” Andrea’s efforts significantly enhance our clinical operations, contributing to the overall health and well-being of our communities.

We are delighted to honor Charlotte Craig and Andrea Pilcher for their exceptional contributions to Healthy Connections. Their dedication to our pillars of Community, Compassion, and Excellence not only strengthens our team but also inspires others to achieve their best. Congratulations to both Charlotte and Andrea on this well-deserved recognition.

Students Can Partipate in Sealants Without School

Healthy Connections is gearing up for the Polk County Dental Sealant Project, in proud collaboration with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Dental Hygiene School. This project is aimed at providing vital dental care and sealants to students from 2nd to 6th grade within the Mena School District, Ouachita River School District, and Cossatot River School District.

Mark Your Calendars!

Appointments are available on Thursday, February 22nd. Don’t miss this opportunity for your child to receive essential dental care!

Is Your Child’s School Not Participating? No Problem!

If your child’s school isn’t part of this initiative or if you haven’t received a form, you can still participate! Download the Registration and Consent Forms on this page, and return them to us at Healthy Connections Dental via fax (866-573-0761, ATTN: Dental), email (awright@healthy-connections.org), or drop them off in person (136 Health Park Lane, Mena, AR) by Tuesday, February 20th, 5:30 PM.

We’ll confirm your appointment time upon receipt of the forms. If the scheduled time doesn’t work for you, let us know! We’re here to accommodate your needs.

SEALANT Q & A

  • What are dental sealants? Thin, protective coatings for the chewing surfaces of back teeth, preventing decay.
  • Why are they important? Sealants keep out germs and food, reducing the risk of decay and the need for future dental work.
  • Can my child still brush their teeth? Absolutely! Sealants don’t replace good hygiene habits; they enhance them.

Plus, learn about Fluoride Varnish! A treatment to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay.

Don’t miss out on this chance to protect your child’s smile. Visit Healthy Connections Dental today for more information and to secure your spot.

Let’s keep those smiles bright and healthy together!

How Dental Sealants Can Save Your Child’s Smile

By Dr. Kaleb Harp, DDS
Dentist
Healthy Connections

Today, let’s explore a topic that’s close to my heart – dental sealants. These invisible shields play a crucial role in protecting our children’s smiles, and I’m excited to share why they are such a game-changer in preventive dentistry.

The Magic of Dental Sealants: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars – those hard-to-reach back teeth where tooth decay often sneaks in. Picture them as invisible shields, guarding against the villains of cavities. Composed of a resin material, sealants are painlessly painted onto the teeth and then quickly harden, creating a formidable barrier against cavity-causing germs and food particles.

The Power of Prevention: Why Dental Sealants Matter

Prevention is the cornerstone of good oral health, especially in our younger patients. Dental sealants act as a proactive measure, significantly reducing the risk of cavities. According to studies by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, sealants can block up to 80% of cavity-causing substances from infiltrating the tooth’s surface. It’s a small investment that pays off immensely in the long run.

Dispelling Common Myths: Are Dental Sealants Safe?

One question I often encounter from parents is the safety of dental sealants. Let me put your minds at ease – yes, they are perfectly safe. The materials used in sealants have undergone extensive research and testing, proving their efficacy and harmlessness. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorse the use of sealants as a safe and effective preventive measure.

When to Consider Dental Sealants for Your Child

Ideally, dental sealants are best applied as soon as a child’s permanent molars and premolars erupt. This typically occurs around the ages of 6 and 12. However, they can be beneficial for older children and even adults if the teeth are free from cavities or fillings.

The Procedure: Quick, Painless, and Worth It

Applying dental sealants is a straightforward and painless process. The teeth are thoroughly cleaned, and a special gel is applied to roughen the tooth surface slightly. After rinsing and drying, the sealant is carefully painted onto the tooth and then cured with a special light. The result? A protective shield that blends seamlessly into the natural tooth.

Beyond Sealants: A Comprehensive Approach to Children’s Dental Health

While dental sealants are a powerful tool in preventing cavities, they are just one piece of the puzzle. Encouraging good oral hygiene habits, regular dental check-ups, and a balanced diet contribute significantly to maintaining optimal dental health in children.

A Healthy Smile, A Happy Child

As a dentist, my goal is to see every child leave our clinic with a healthy, confident smile. Dental sealants play a pivotal role in achieving that goal. They are a simple, effective, and safe way to ensure our children’s oral health stays on the right track. If you have any questions about dental sealants or if you’re considering them for your child, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Ready to give your child the gift of a healthy smile? Call us at 888-710-8220 for appointments and learn more about us by visiting the dental pages on our website at https://healthy-connections.org/dental.

Dr. Kaleb Harp is a dentist at Healthy Connections. He provides advice on proper brushing, flossing, cleaning, healthy gums, and other dental care. It’s ideal to visit the dentist every 6 months or twice a year, absent additional tests that suggest a serious problem.  Call 888-710-8220 to schedule appointments.

Introducing Horizons: Your Health, Our Experts

Welcome to Horizons, the official blog of Healthy Connections, where “Your Health. Our Experts.” is not just a tagline—it’s our commitment to you. As we continue to celebrate more than 25 years of serving the communities of Western and Central Arkansas, we’re excited to launch a platform that brings you closer to the wealth of knowledge our health professionals hold. Horizons is found at https://healthy-connections.org/horizons, your new go-to resource for health tips, advice, and information.

At Healthy Connections, we understand that navigating the world of health and wellness can sometimes feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created Horizons—a space where our expert providers, including doctors, APRNs, PAs, dentists, hygienists, therapists, and more, share their insights, experiences, and advice to empower you on your health journey.

What You Can Expect from Horizons

  • Expert Advice: Our blog features content written by our diverse team of healthcare providers. From the latest OBGYN tips to effective exercise routines, from dental care best practices to mental health support, our experts cover a wide range of topics to ensure your health needs are met.
  • Practical Health Tips: Horizons is designed to offer practical, actionable advice that you can incorporate into your daily life. Whether it’s strategies for managing stress, nutritional guidance, or preventive care measures, our goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life.
  • Latest Health News and Research: Stay informed with the latest health news and research explained in clear, understandable language. Our providers break down complex medical information into digestible insights, keeping you informed and engaged with the newest developments in healthcare.

Join Us on the Journey

As part of our philosophy built on Community, Compassion, and Excellence, we believe that informed patients make empowered patients. Horizons is more than just a blog; it’s a reflection of our dedication to providing comprehensive, patient-centered care.

We invite you to explore Horizons, bookmark our page, and join us as we embark on this new chapter. Together, let’s create a future where health and wellness are accessible to all, supported by the knowledge and expertise of Healthy Connections’ trusted providers.

Visit us today at https://healthy-connections.org/horizons and take the first step towards a healthier tomorrow. Your health. Our experts. Your journey to wellness starts here.

A Vital Conversation on HIV and Hepatitis C

Unlocking Wellness: A Vital Conversation on HIV and Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment

By Jennifer Scott, APRN
Family Nurse Practitioner
Healthy Connections

Jennifer Scott APRN

As a Family Nurse Practitioner at Healthy Connections, I want to discuss the crucial topics of HIV and Hepatitis C testing and treatment openly. In today’s landscape, where these viruses persist at concerning rates, many individuals remain unaware of their infection or hesitate to undergo testing. My mission is clear: to enlighten and motivate anyone at risk to seize control of their health by embracing testing and, if needed, commencing treatment promptly.

Breaking the Stigma: Accessible, Judgment-Free Testing

At Healthy Connections, we understand the fear and anxiety associated with an HIV or Hep C diagnosis. That’s why testing at our clinics is not only quick and convenient but also judgment-free. Patients are screened for Hep C and HIV through a standard blood test, ensuring that anyone who steps through our doors has the opportunity to know their status with dignity and privacy. We aim to discuss your results with compassion and care, providing support and guidance regardless of the outcome.

Guiding You to Wellness: Seamless Treatment Access and Support

For those who test positive for Hepatitis C, we provide a thorough treatment strategy that starts with further testing to assess how the virus has affected the liver. This allows us to tailor a treatment plan suited to the individual’s needs, typically involving an 8-week or 12-week course of medication. To ensure the success of the treatment, we schedule follow-up lab visits to evaluate the effectiveness of the therapy, offering a supportive and comprehensive care system throughout the treatment process.

Expertise Near You: Healthy Connections Locations and Specialists

With locations throughout Central and Western Arkansas, Healthy Connections is committed to offering accessible, high-quality care for HIV and Hepatitis C. Our team of specialists is dedicated to supporting you through your health journey, providing expert care, counseling, and continuous health monitoring. Call us at 888-710-8220 or find a location on our website.

Thriving Through Challenges: Empowering Patients to Live Vibrantly

Living with HIV or Hep C presents its unique challenges, but at Healthy Connections, we empower our patients to thrive. Through adherence to prescribed medications, regular health check-ups, and the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits, our patients can manage their conditions effectively. We also emphasize the importance of safer practices to prevent transmission and the benefits of connecting with supportive communities.

Urgent Call to Action: Get Tested Today for a Healthier Tomorrow

If you’re at risk for HIV or Hep C, don’t delay getting tested. Healthy Connections offers swift, compassionate testing services, ready to support you regardless of the outcome. Schedule your testing appointment by calling 888-710-8220 and take the first step towards securing your health. Our clinics accept Medicaid, Medicare, and most health insurance plans, and offer a sliding fee scale for qualifying uninsured patients, ensuring that everyone has access to vital testing and treatment services.

Your health and well-being are our highest priorities at Healthy Connections. Let us guide you towards a healthier and happier future. Together, we can tackle the challenges of HIV and Hepatitis C, empowering you to lead a vibrant, fulfilling life.

Jennifer Scott, APRN, is a Family Nurse Practitioner at the Healthy Connections Hot Springs Chippewa Clinic. Call 888-710-8220 to schedule your appointment and begin your journey to wellness.

January 2024 Employees of the Month

We are proud to announce our January 2024 Healthy Connections Employees of the Month. These employees were nominated by their peers and chosen for exemplifying our three pillars of Community, Compassion, and Excellence.

Mariah Tilligkeit (East Communities)

Mariah is a patient care coordinator (PCC) at the Russellville clinic. She joined Healthy Connections in 2022 and has been a valuable member of our team ever since. In the nomination, coworkers said this about Mariah:

“Mariah is great with patients and knows when to ask questions. She is very observant and notices when patients need help with their insurance or sliding fee scale. She is always receptive to learning new things. You can trust her to do her job correctly and efficiently. Glad to have her on the HCI team!”

Mariah, thank you for your dedication, professionalism, and compassion. You are a true asset to Healthy Connections.

Kayla Penny (West Communities)

Kayla is a referral assistant at the Mena Street location. She has been working at Healthy Connections since 2022 and has shown remarkable skills and initiative. In the nomination, coworkers said this about Kayla:

“Kayla played a major role in doubling the amount of annual wellness visits provided to our patients. She is very friendly with all patients and co-workers, always having a smile and positive attitude. She is willing to assist with any tasks and participate in any events as needed. She provides an excellent representation of Healthy Connections to the communities we serve.”

Kayla, thank you for your hard work, enthusiasm, and excellence. You are a great example of what Healthy Connections stands for.

As winners, they will receive a credit to the Healthy Connections HC Hub Company Store. Do you know who should be the next employee of the month? Nominate them on HC Hub today!