BY JACLYN ROSE
Mena Regional Health System (MRHS) has a long standing tradition of service to the community in Polk County, as well as its neighbors. Beginning in 1980, MRHS has been providing acute inpatient and outpatient services from their original building located on North Morrow Street which was then renovated in 2006 to add additional space, as well as updating the existing facility.
Beginning four years ago, MRHS began employing physicians, which were housed in various clinics around Mena. The Board of Commissioners and hospital administration had a vision to create a centralized environment, owned by the hospital that was convenient, and cost efficient to house all of these physicians. This expansion would also provide a central location that would be appealing to potential physicians and specialists and aide MRHS in their task of recruiting quality physicians and specialists for the area.
On June 27, 2013, the final construction agreement was approved and Mena Medical Associates, located at 1103 College Drive, next to the hospital, opened in September 2014. Mena Medical Associates offers wonderful and diverse services to the community and surrounding areas. With the addition of several new physicians and several more negotiations with new specialists in the works, the idea that a patient can have all of their medical records in one place, is an important benefit of the new clinic. “We think when a specialist can review what the primary care doctor has provided, it will improve the patient’s outcome,” explained Lori House, Director of Clinic Operations.
Richard Eccles, MD has a focus on pediatrics, adolescent medicine, primary care sports medicine with concussion management, internal medicine for adults including diabetes, hypertension and COPD. Stephen Luker, DO has a focus on family medicine, urgent care medicine, sports medicine and orthopedics, occupational medicine, workman’s comp injuries, Osteopathic Manipulative treatments, and sports physicals. Steve Forrest, MD has a focus on family medicine, well child care, emergency medicine, preventative medicine, respiratory disease, hospice care, and cardiovascular health. Kent Schnetzler, MD is an Orthopedic Surgeon and has a focus on comprehensive orthopedic care, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and other hand surgeries, arthritis care including: Hyaglan and Corticosteriod injections, fracture care both surgical and non-surgical, and children’s orthopedics and fracture care. Sharon Webb, MD has a focus on family medicine, emergency medicine, well woman care, well child care, and workman’s comp injuries. Eric Webb, PA.C has a focus on family medicine, urgent care and minor injuries. Thomas Sullivan, MD is a double board certified, General Surgeon and Colorectal Surgeon.
In addition to the impressive line-up of physicians, Mena Medical Associates rotates phycians from the Hot Springs Cardiology Clinic on Tuesdays. They also employ eight nurses and a team of seven office staff. Mena Medical Associates is accepting new patients and is offering same day appointments. They are open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm and accept most insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid.
“Mena Medical Associates, as a division of Mena Regional Health System, allows us to provide a continuum of health care services from primary care, specialty ambulatory care, to acute care hospital services to residents in our community within the same organization. Our staff, physicians, nurses and clinic employees are available to assist members of the community in scheduling initial follow-up appointments, to establish primary care services and schedule referral to specialty services in our new ambulatory clinic facility,” states Rick Billingsley, Interim CEO. “Our professional physicians and office staff that offer compassionate, patient centered healthcare to residents of Polk County and the surrounding areas. We look forward to expanding our specialty services in the future and continuing to provide excellent care for the entire family,” states House.