- News & Analysis
- Event Tickets & Nominations
When Healthy Connections Inc. of Mena started in 1998, it was as a home visiting program to assist pregnant teenagers.
Now it’s now expanded into a nonprofit that has 13 clinics in rural parts of western and central Arkansas and provides medical, dental and behavioral health services. It also still offers home visits for pregnant women and children.
Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of the community it serves, said Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro.
Last year, it started offering telehealth visits to reach people who haven’t had access to Healthy Connections’ clinics in the past.
In 2019, Healthy Connections, with more than 200 full-time employees, had about 40,000 patient visits; in 2020, there were about 46,000, Calandro said.
It takes Medicare and Medicaid patients and those with private insurance. But if patients are uninsured, they’re charged on a sliding fee scale.
Between 2013 and 2018, its revenue increased 62.5%. The organization’s current revenue is around $17 million.
In June, Healthy Connections started using its mobile medical clinic to visit locations to provide free COVID-19 tests to about 8,000 people in more than a dozen cities, Calandro said.
The pandemic has challenged the organization just as it has so many others. “We’re having adjustments like everybody else with COVID,” Calandro said. “Our biggest contribution right now is to make sure that we continue to provide services to all of our patients, just like we have in the past, even in the midst of the COVID outbreak.”
Calandro credits Healthy Connections’ success to its employees, who are driven by a desire to give back to the community. “They want to be able to do some good for the communities where they’ve all grown up,” he said.