June Employees of the Month

June 2024 Healthy Connections Shining STAR Employees of the Month

We are delighted to announce the June 2024 Healthy Connections Shining STAR employees of the month. Each month, we recognize outstanding team members from our East and West Communities who exemplify our three pillars: Community, Compassion, and Excellence. This month, we are proud to honor Sheridan’s Clark Roberts (East) and Mena’s David Jumper (West).

East Communities Winner: Clark Roberts

Clark Roberts, a Family Nurse Practitioner at our Sheridan Clinic, joined Healthy Connections earlier this year and has quickly become a valued member of our team. Nominated by his peers, Clark’s dedication to his community is evident in his compassionate approach to patient care. His nomination highlighted his respectful treatment of patients and his commitment to excellence in his work. As one nominator wrote, “Clark cares deeply about his community and this shows through his compassion in his work. He treats his patients with respect and high regard which exemplifies his excellence.”

West Communities Winner: David Jumper

David Jumper, a Computer Support Technician based in Mena, has been with Healthy Connections since 2021. Known for his exceptional technical support and unwavering commitment to helping colleagues, David embodies the principles of Community, Compassion, and Excellence. His peers appreciate his readiness to assist and his positive impact on the workplace.

Both Clark and David were selected from a pool of outstanding nominations by senior management. As winners, they will receive a credit to the HC Hub Company Store to choose some Healthy Connections swag.

Please join us in congratulating Clark and David on their well-deserved recognition. We encourage all employees to continue nominating their deserving coworkers for the Shining STAR program. Together, we celebrate those who make Healthy Connections a place of Community, Compassion, and Excellence.

Northwest Arkansas Pride Recap

Healthy Connections Shines at Northwest Arkansas Pride Festival

Healthy Connections proudly participated in the Northwest Arkansas Pride Festival in Fayetteville this past Saturday, joining in the celebration of the festival’s 20th anniversary. The event, which has grown from a modest parade on Dickson Street two decades ago to a large-scale celebration attracting thousands, provided an excellent platform for us to engage with the community.

At our booth, we distributed nearly 1,000 rainbow fans, over 600 reusable shopping bags, a variety of stickers, and hand sanitizers, all prominently featuring our “ally” branding. We also offered free cotton candy, adding a touch of sweetness to the day. Additionally, we provided essential healthcare services, including HIV testing, to festival attendees, underscoring our commitment to inclusive and accessible healthcare.

Engaging with individuals from various parts of Arkansas, including Mena, Hot Springs, and Little Rock, reinforced our dedication to outreach and inclusivity. Events like the Pride Festival are crucial for spreading awareness about the comprehensive healthcare services we offer at Healthy Connections, which include gender-affirming treatment, HIV and Hepatitis C care, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), PrEP, and more.

“Attending events like the Northwest Arkansas Pride Festival allows us to connect directly with the community, share information about our inclusive healthcare services,” said Jeffrey Slatton, Business Communications and Marketing Manager, “and demonstrate our unwavering support for the LGBTQ+ community. It’s an opportunity to show that we stand with our patients and the broader community in promoting health, wellness, and acceptance for all.”

The festival’s growth over the years reflects the increasing acceptance and support for the LGBTQ+ community in Northwest Arkansas. It has transformed from a small protest into a joyous celebration of diversity and inclusion. Healthy Connections is honored to support this journey and contribute to the ongoing efforts to foster a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.

By participating in the Northwest Arkansas Pride Festival, Healthy Connections not only promotes its healthcare services but also reaffirms its commitment to the values of community, compassion, and excellence. We look forward to continuing our outreach efforts and supporting the LGBTQ+ community in every way possible.

In Memory of Derwood Brett: Leader, Mentor, and Community Advocate

Derwood BrettDerwood Brett, esteemed Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors for Healthy Connections, Inc., passed away this week at the age of 76. Brett had an extensive and illustrious career in media, public relations, and the electric utility industry, leaving an indelible mark on each field he touched.

Brett’s journalism career saw him publishing newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida. He believed that every community deserved a newspaper that captured the essence of local life, from Little League games to city council meetings. His tenure as president of the Arkansas Press Association in 1989 was characterized by his focus on thorough, detail-oriented reporting. Brett’s editorials were instrumental in significant community advancements, including the adoption of a school tax increase and the establishment of a community college in Helena.

A graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a BA in Journalism, Brett went on to complete his MA in Journalism/Mass Communications at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he also served on the adjunct faculty for several years. His academic background and professional experience made him a respected figure in both the media and academic communities.

Transitioning to the electric utility industry, Brett served as Manager of Corporate Communications for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, INC. He later became the General Manager of Clay County Electric Cooperative, overseeing the distribution of electric services across multiple counties in Northeast Arkansas and Missouri. His leadership in these roles underscored his commitment to community service and excellence.

After retiring from the electric utility industry, Brett remained active in public service. He served as president of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and as a board member for Healthy Connections, Inc., where he continued to advocate for community health initiatives. As Chairman of the Board for Healthy Connections from 2011 through April of this year, Brett’s visionary leadership coincided with major growth at Healthy Connections, expanding from two clinics in two cities to more than 15 clinics across central and western Arkansas.

“Derwood Brett’s unwavering support and faith in both me and Healthy Connections have been instrumental in our growth and success. His leadership and commitment to our mission of providing quality healthcare to all have left an enduring legacy that will continue to inspire us. Derwood’s belief in the power of community and excellence guided us through many challenges, and we are profoundly grateful for his contributions,” said Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro.

Brett is survived by his beloved wife, Frances Brett, their three children, and five grandchildren. His attention to detail, commitment to community, and passion for storytelling will be remembered and cherished by his colleagues, friends, and family.

“Derwood Brett was not only a remarkable leader but also a dear friend. Over the years, we worked together on numerous organizations, and his dedication and passion were always evident. His presence will be deeply missed, and his influence extended far beyond the boardroom. Derwood’s friendship and guidance will remain with me forever,” said Al Gathright, who succeeded Brett as chairman of the board in April.

He leaves behind a legacy of dedication, service, and community spirit that will continue to inspire all who knew him.

The memorial service for Derwood Brett will be held at Joplin United Methodist Church in Mount Ida on July 1, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.

Memorials may be made to:

  • Arkansas Newspaper Foundation 501c3, 411 South Victory St, Little Rock, AR 72201
  • University of Arkansas Rich Mountain Foundation Scholarship Fund, 1100 College Street, Mena, AR 71953
  • Joplin United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 89, Mount Ida, AR 71957

Arrangements are under the direction of Thornton Funeral Home in Mount Ida, AR. Guest register at www.thorntonfh.com.

May Employees of the Month

Healthy Connections Announces May 2024 Shining STAR Employees of the Month

Healthy Connections is proud to announce our May 2024 Shining STAR Employees of the Month: Mandy Simers of the Mena Street location and Joanna Welch of the Malvern Pinnacle clinic. Mandy represents the West Communities, while Joanna represents the East Communities. This recognition is based on nominations from their fellow co-workers, reflecting our three pillars of Community, Compassion, and Excellence.

Mandy Simers: West Communities Winner

Mandy Simers, who has been with Healthy Connections since 2020, serves as the Inventory Controller at the Mena Street location. Her dedication and consistent excellence in her role have earned her high praise from her colleagues. One co-worker shared, “Mandy consistently demonstrates excellence in her work. It is a habit Mandy embodies, not just a one-off act. Mandy is extremely reliable; she only misses work when she has preplanned approved PTO. She embodies community by fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment between all departments within HCI and outside of HCI with vendors. She sets a standard for us all and reminds us of what can be achieved with dedication and passion.”

Mandy’s commitment to excellence and her ability to foster a strong sense of community within the workplace exemplify the values that Healthy Connections holds dear. Her role as Inventory Controller is crucial to the seamless operation of our services, and her reliability and passion are truly inspirational.

Joanna Welch: East Communities Winner

Joanna Welch, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at the Malvern Pinnacle clinic, has been with Healthy Connections since 2023. Joanna’s hard work, pleasant demeanor, and kindness toward patients have made her a standout employee. Her colleagues commend her ability to embrace change and conquer any challenge thrown her way. One co-worker remarked, “Joanna is a hard worker, always pleasant, and is very kind to our patients. She embraces change and conquers any challenge thrown her way.”

Joanna’s dedication to providing compassionate care and her adaptability in the face of challenges embody the core values of Healthy Connections. Her positive attitude and commitment to patient care make her an invaluable member of our team.

Each month, Healthy Connections selects two employees for this prestigious award, based on nominations from their peers and votes from the Senior Management Team. Mandy Simers and Joanna Welch are shining examples of the dedication and excellence we strive for at Healthy Connections. We congratulate them on their well-deserved recognition and thank them for their outstanding contributions to our organization.

Arkadelphia Clinic Ribbon Cutting and Welcome Celebration

Ribbon Cutting and Welcome Celebration at Healthy Connections Arkadelphia Clinic

On Thursday, the Healthy Connections Arkadelphia clinic hosted a vibrant Ribbon Cutting and Welcome Celebration, in partnership with the Arkadelphia Alliance. This event marked the official introduction of our newest healthcare providers: Kristin Brown, APRN; Leslie Collie, APRN; and Dr. Kara Worley, OBGYN. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who joined us to celebrate this milestone. The event was a wonderful opportunity for the community to meet Kristin and Leslie, who are now available for primary care and family medicine services for patients of all ages.

Our Arkadelphia clinic is committed to providing accessible and high-quality healthcare. We proudly accept Medicaid, Medicare, ARKids 1st, and most major health insurance plans. For those without insurance, we offer a sliding fee scale to ensure no one is left without the care they need. Dr. Kara Worley, known for her “Catching Babies” philosophy, specializes in women’s health, including gynecology and obstetrics.

Kristin Brown, APRN, and Leslie Collie, APRN, bring a wealth of experience and a compassionate approach to patient care. They are dedicated to promoting wellness and providing comprehensive healthcare services to individuals and families in our community. Whether you need routine check-ups, management of chronic conditions, or acute care, Kristin and Leslie are here to support your health journey.

Dr. Kara Worley offers specialized care in obstetrics and gynecology. Her “Catching Babies” philosophy underscores her commitment to providing personalized and empathetic care to expectant mothers. Dr. Worley is well-known for her dedication to women’s health and her ability to make her patients feel comfortable and supported throughout their healthcare experience.

Located at 301 Professional Park Drive, the Arkadelphia clinic is open Monday through Thursday, from 7:45 am to 6:00 pm. For appointments, please call 888-710-8220. You can learn more about the clinic and our services at Healthy Connections Arkadelphia.

Community Support and Acknowledgements

We are deeply thankful for the overwhelming support from our community, which made this event a success. Special thanks to Patterson Federal Credit Union, Southern Bancorp, Justin Rogers with Farm Bureau, Shuffield Music Company, Arkadelphia Walmart, The V B & Grill, Billie Murphy and the UPS Store, Heartland Pharmacy, Dr. Byrd’s office, Samantha’s Bakery, and Michael Brown with Brown’s Grinding Co. for their generous contributions.

Congratulations to our door prize drawing winners: Patricia McGee of Arkadelphia, Carolyn King of Arkadelphia, KiShiana Walton of Hope, Johnesha of Arkadelphia, Gabrielle Perry of Arkadelphia, Jason Lowe of Point Cedar, Marquita Morehead of Arkadelphia, and Linda Easley of Gurdon. Prizes can be picked up at the clinic during normal business hours.

Thank you once again to everyone who came out to support us. We look forward to continuing to serve the Arkadelphia community with the same dedication and excellence that defines Healthy Connections.

Arkadelphia Clinic Celebration Event June 6

Join Us for the Arkadelphia Clinic Ribbon Cutting and Community Celebration on June 6!

Healthy Connections is excited to invite the community to the ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration of our Arkadelphia clinic on Thursday, June 6. The event will commence at 9:30 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in collaboration with the Arkadelphia Alliance, marking the beginning of a day filled with festivities.

We welcome everyone to stop by and enjoy a complimentary lunch, meet our exceptional healthcare providers, and tour our state-of-the-art facility. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know our new providers Kristin Brown, APRN, Leslie Collie, APRN, and Kara Worley, OBGYN. Our clinic is currently accepting new patients and is in-network for most health insurance plans. We also have openings for Medicaid and Medicare patients and offer a sliding fee scale for those without insurance who qualify.

Join us to meet Leslie, Kristin, Kara, and Dr. Anne Murphy, and to experience firsthand the comprehensive healthcare services we provide. There will be fun activities for both kids and adults, making it a perfect family event.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 888-710-8220. Learn more about our Arkadelphia clinic, its providers, and the services offered by visiting Healthy Connections Arkadelphia Clinic. We look forward to seeing you there!