16 Jul

Arkansas Community Health Centers fighting opioid addiction – Innovative and comprehensive treatment newly available


LaShannon Spencer, CHCA Chief Executive Officer


Seth Blomeley, CHCA Communications and Policy Director


LITTLE ROCK – With Arkansas, and the nation, in the grips of the opioid epidemic, Community Health Centers are meeting the challenge by offering Medication Assisted Treatment (or MAT for short) to those who truly wish to free themselves from the shackles of addiction.

Community Health Centers (CHCs) in recent weeks have embarked on a MAT program and hope to expand it to serving hundreds of patients within two years. MAT combines medication (to help wean patients off dangerous opioids) with addiction counseling and therapy (to help patients make the necessary lifestyle changes to keep them from relapse).

“MAT is an integrated treatment model that really fits what Community Health Centers are all about,” said Byron Montgomery, Director of Clinical Operations for Mainline Health Systems. “We have everything under one roof. Patients don’t have to worry about being stigmatized because as far as anyone will know, they could be coming to our clinic to treat a common cold. And, we’re going to see them regardless of whether they can pay or not. But they have to be totally engaged and completely dedicated to beating addiction.”

CHCs are uniquely positioned to provide MAT in Arkansas. To successfully complete the program, multiple visits for an extended period of time are required. These can be costly, especially if a patient doesn’t have insurance. And, many insurance plans limit the number of counseling visits. In part because of the financial obstacles, MAT has been slow to grow in Arkansas.

But CHCs are filling that gap. We offer high quality care and treatment. For those in financial need, we provide care on a sliding fee scale based on income.

If you think a CHC can help with your addiction recovery, we invite you to contact one of our CHCs offering MAT: Community Clinic (Fayetteville/Northwest AR), Mainline Health Systems (Dermott, Monticello, Star City/Southeast AR), and MidDelta Health Systems (Clarendon/AR Delta).



Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

WHAT: Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an innovative way to treat substance use disorder, particularly those suffering from addiction to opioids, such as drugs prescribed for pain management.

WHERE: MAT is available at three Community Health Centers in Arkansas – Community Clinic (Fayetteville/Northwest AR), Mainline Health Systems (Dermott, Monticello and Star City/Southeast AR) and MidDelta Health Systems (Clarendon/AR Delta).

WHEN: First offered by Community Health Centers spring 2019.

WHO: A team of physicians, psychiatrists, APRNs, licensed clinical social workers, and others are coordinating the MAT programs at Community Health Centers to meet all of the needs of each patient.

WHY: Opioid addiction is a crippling disease in Arkansas and across the country. The best way to ensure a patient can free himself of dependency and reduce the chances of relapse is through MAT. It calls for a combination of prescription drugs (such as Naltrexone and Buprenorphine) to slowly wean someone off opioids and behavioral health therapy, such as visits to a clinical social worker and group therapy meetings, including Narcotics Anonymous.

TARGET: Regular appointments are required, month after month and sometimes for years until someone can be truly freed from the opioid grip. It requires dedication and work by patients. So, MAT isn’t for everyone, only those who truly want to get better and are willing to take the necessary steps.

COST: Community Health Centers accept private insurance as well as government-funded coverage, such as Medicaid and Medicare. As for all services at Community Health Centers, those without insurance aren’t turned away. They pay on a sliding scale based on their income. MAT may call for more visits than an insurance plan covers. In that case, a patient may apply to pay based on income.

NATIONAL: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after a steady increase in the overall national opioid prescribing rate starting in 2006, the total number of prescriptions dispensed peaked in 2012 at more than 255 million and a prescribing rate of 81.3 prescriptions per 100 persons. The overall national opioid prescribing rate declined from 2012 to 2017, and in 2017, the prescribing rate had fallen to the lowest it had been in more than 10 years at 58.7 prescriptions per 100 persons (total of more than 191 million total opioid prescriptions).

ARKANSAS: In 2017, Arkansas had the second-highest opioid prescription rate in the country, with 105.4 per 100 persons (down from a high of 123.2 in 2015), second only to Alabama. Among Arkansas counties, Greene County posted the highest rate at 166.8.

Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Inc.

119 South Izard Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 501-374-8225

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16 Apr

Hunger Banquet News Release

April 12, 2019

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29 Oct

Mainline Health Systems, Inc.

Mainline Health Systems, Inc.

Allan Nichols, Chief Executive Officer 

Mainline Health Systems, a non-profit organization, has provided affordable medical and dental care for the residents of Southeast Arkansas since 1978. From our first office in Portland all those years ago, Mainline Health Systems has grown to 16 locations serving Arkansas residents in Ashley, Chicot, Drew, and Lincoln counties.

Every year, our healthcare professionals treat thousands of patients who either have no insurance or not enough insurance to cover essential health services. We will never deny care to those in need. Our mission is to provide compassionate, quality care for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Our financial assistance programs ensure that everyone in our communities who require medical or dental care can receive it.

Mainline Health Systems has six convenient locations to serve the public in Dermott, Portland, Eudora, Monticello, Wilmot, and Star City, Arkansas. We also have clinics located in five public school districts in Hamburg, Dermott, Lakeside, and Drew Central and Star City.

Dermott Location

300 South School Street

Dermott, AR 71638

Medical Appointments: (870) 538-3355
Dental Appointments: (870) 538-9720

Eudora Location

579 East Beouff Street

Eudora, AR 71640

Medical Appointments: (870) 355-2512

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 7 am - 4:30 pm
Friday: 8:00am-12:00pm

Monticello Location

535 Jordan Drive

Monticello, AR 71655

Medical Appointments: (870) 367-MAIN (6246)

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 5:30 pm

Friday: 8 am - 12 pm
Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

Portland Location

233 North Main Street

Portland, AR 71663

Medical Appointments: (870) 737-2221

Hours of Operation: 
Monday - Thursday: 7 am - 4:30 pm
Friday: 8 am - 12 pm

Star City Location

110 North Drew Street

Star City, AR 71667

Medical Appointments: (870) 628-5110

Hours of Operation: 
Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 5:30 pm
Friday: 8 am - 12 pm

Wilmott Location

203 McComb Street
Wilmot, AR 71676

Medical Appointments: (870) 473-2274

Medical Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 5:30 pm
Friday: 8 am - 12 pm

Dental Appointments: (870) 473-2311

Dental Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 5 pm

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29 Oct



Sandra Brown, Chief Executive Officer


Jefferson Comprehensive Care System, Inc. (JCCSI) was incorporated in 1972 as nonprofit corporation dedicated to the provision of comprehensive health care services. In 1973, the corporation established its first clinic in Pine Bluff, AR. Throughout its existence, JCCSI has increased access to health services in both rural and urban areas by developing additional clinics in Altheimer, College Station, Little Rock, Redfield and Rison, AR.


JCCSI is a FTCA Deemed, organization that is governed by a volunteer board of directors. At least 51% of the board must be consumers of our services. The board members reside in the communities we serve.

Pine Bluff Medical & Dental

1100 Tennessee St.

Hours of Operation:
M-T-W-T: 8 – 7 p.m.
Fri: 8 – 5 p.m.
Sat: 8 – 12 noon


309 S. Edine

Hours of Operation:
M-T-W-F: 8 – 5 p.m.
Thurs: 8 – 7 p.m.


823 River Road

Hours of Operation:
Mon – Fri: 8 – 5 p.m.


505 Sycamore

Hours of Operation:
M-T-W-F: 8 – 5 p.m.
Thurs: 8 – 7 p.m.

Open Hands (Healthcare for the Homeless)

1225 Martin Luther King Drive

Hours of Operation:
M: 8 – 7 p.m.
T-W-T-F: 8 – 5 p.m.

College Station

4206 Frazier Pike

Hours of Operation:
M-T-W-T-F: 8 – 5 p.m.
Thurs: 8 – 12 noon

North Little Rock

2525 North Willow Street, Suite 1

Hours of Operation:
M-F 8 – 5 p.m.

Little Rock

1100 N. University, Suite 125

Hours of Operation:
M-T-W-T-F: 8 – 5 p.m.

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29 Oct

Healthy Connections


Tony Calandro, Chief Executive Officer

In 2007, Healthy Connections, Inc. (HCI) received a new grant to open another community health center in Mt. Ida-the Montgomery County Community Clinic. M.C.C.C. opened in December of 2007 and is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing primary and preventative medical services. The Clinic also provides diabetic services, BH, and dental services. In 2012, Healthy Connections partnered with Ouachita River school district to open the Ouachita River Health Center-Acorn Campus, which is a school based health clinic. In May of 2014, we reopened our Mena Street location with Dr. Fox as our provider. In September 2015, HCI was privileged to open another clinic facility located in Hot Springs through a NAP grant. We opened our second school-based health clinic, located on the Malvern High School Campus, in a partnership with the Malvern School District in April 2016.

HCI clinical locations are Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) deemed facilities. Since its enactment in 1946, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) has been the legal mechanism for compensating people who have suffered personal injury by the negligent or wrongful action of employees of the U.S. Government. Under Section 224 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended by the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act of 1992 and 1995, employees of eligible health centers, such as Healthy Connections, Inc., may be deemed to be federal employees qualified for protection under the FTCA. With HCI’s deemed status, the center is not liable for any settlements or judgments that are made under the FTCA. The Federal government assumes responsibility for these costs. Deemed health center program grantees are immune from medical malpractice lawsuits resulting from the performance of medical, surgical, dental, or related functions within the approved scope of project. Deemed health centers such as HCI must go through a vigorous application process annually to remain in this status. This process ensures the center is credentialing quality providers while maintaining high quality measures allowing for affordable superior care for its patients.


Healthy Connections has 9 locations, see more below!



136 Health Park Drive
P.O. Box 1848
Mena, Arkansas 71953
Phone: 479-437-3449
Fax: 479-243-0285
Hours: Monday – Thursday 7:45 AM – 6 PM
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Medical Care; General Dentistry; Behavioral Health
Providers: Lonnie Sessler, MD; Sherilyn Webb, MD; Vito Calandro, MD; Terri Barrada, APRN; Joan Manzella, APRN; Julie Oglesby, LAC LAMFT.



1201 Mena Street
Mena, Arkansas 71953
Phone: 479-437-3300
Fax: 479-437-3470
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:45 AM – 6 PM
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Medical Care
Providers: Patrick Fox, MD; Eric Webb, PA; Carolin Hockersmith, APRN; Kristen Mack, APRN;



102 Chippewa Court
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901
Phone: 501-620-4600
Fax: 501-620-4610
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:45 AM – 6 PM
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Medical Care; General Dentistry; Behavioral Health; Outreach Services
Providers: Sarah Sullivan, MD; Mindy Gallegos, DNP APRN; Laura Pumphrey, APRN; Lauren David, DDS



139 School Lane
Mena, Arkansas 71953
Phone: 479-394-2932
Fax: 479-394-2935
Hours: Monday – Thursday 7:45 AM – 6 PM
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Medical Care; Behavioral Health
Providers: Tracy Kennedy; LAC



534 Luzerne Street
Mount Ida, Arkansas 71957
Phone: 870-867-4244
Fax: 870-867-4254
Hours: Monday – Thursday 7:45 AM – 6 PM
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Health Care; Behavioral Health
Providers: Jimmy Barrow, DO; Amy Stvartak, APRN;  Schasta Hibbs, APRN; Stephanie Matthews, LCSW;



3604 Central Ave
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71913
Pediatrics Phone: 501-463-4233
Other Specialties Phone: 501-463-4074
Hours: Monday – Thursday 7:45 AM – 6 PM
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Medical Care; Pediatrics; Cardiology; Joint Injections; Behavioral Health
Providers: Jeremy Porter, MDAnne Murphy, DOFred Heinemann, MD; Chris Gillenwater, APRN; Melanie Newman, APRN; Trisha Willis, LCSW



3034 A Pine Street
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
Phone: 870-230-1280
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:45 AM – 6 PM
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Health Care
Providers: Veronica Cannon, APRN; Tisha Jenkins, LCSW



1517 South Main Street
Malvern, Arkansas 72104
Phone: 501-332-7525
Fax: 501-229-1525
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:45 AM – 6 PM
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Health Care; Pediatrics; Behavioral Health
Providers: Larry Brashears, MD: Rachel Scrimshire, APRN; Tisha Jenkins, LCSW



1357 W. Collin Raye Drive
DeQueen, AR 71832
Phone: 870-642-4364
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 AM – 5 PM (closed for lunch from 12 – 1 PM)
Specialties: Primary and Preventative Health Care; Pediatrics
Providers: Terri Devlin, MD

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30 Aug

U.S. asks for new judge in Arkansas Medicaid work-rule suit

The lawsuit over a work requirement for Arkansas’ Medicaid program shouldn’t be decided by the same judge who stopped a similar requirement from taking effect in Kentucky, attorneys for President Donald Trump’s administration contend.

In a filing on Tuesday, the attorneys asked U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who decided the Kentucky case, to reject his assignment as the judge over the Arkansas case. They want the case randomly assigned to a judge per usual procedure.

Click here for more details

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14 Aug

Primary care docs easier to find in ACA plans than Medicaid, study finds

Dive Brief:

  • Primary care physicians accept Affordable Care Act exchange plans more often than Medicaid, but not as much as employer-sponsored health insurance, according to a Health Affairs study.
  • The analysis found that PCP in-network participation was 91% in the ACA marketplace. That’s compared to 75% in Medicaid and 100% for employer-sponsored plans.
  • The researchers also discovered that one-third of in-network physicians don’t have appointments available for new Medicaid patients.

Click here to read more

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14 Aug

How providers are working to stem missed appointments

Patient no-shows are a costly, intractable headache for healthcare providers. Millions of patients cancel, skip or reschedule appointments with their clinicians every year, creating vacant schedules and expenses that can cost the industry by one estimate $150 billion annually.

Click here to read more

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14 Aug

Telling doctors about their patients’ opioid deaths curbed prescriptions

Dive Brief:

A study published in Science found that telling doctors in San Diego County of a patient’s overdose death led to that physician prescribing fewer opioids.

The county’s medical examiner sent a letter to physicians whose patients died within a year of an opioid prescription. The notification included information about safe prescribing.

The letter led to lower high-intensity prescribing, fewer opioid prescriptions and overall lower opioid intake, according to the repot. The study found “modest prescribing reductions,” suggesting clinicians used more caution rather than completely stopping opioid prescriptions.

Click here to read more

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26 Jul

Social determinants tech field wide open for health industry

Few healthcare organizations are investing in social determinants of health technology, and while an uptick is expected, the market will remain relatively weak until providers find the best way to use the data, according to a new analysis from Patchwise Labs.

The report found that fewer than 4% of health systems and managed care organizations have invested in SDoH technology. The consultancy puts the market currently at $88 million to $92 million.

Click here to read the full story

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