Welcome to ArkLaTex Health

INTRODUCING ARKLATEX HEALTH: ArkLaTexHealth.com and its sister online publication, ArkLaTexNews.com, were many years in the making and launched under the direction of Executive Editor Randa Thornton-Mason (see biography below) on May 4, 2019. The concept was initially developed in 2015 with the idea of establishing a news organization for the ArkLaTex region including Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, North Louisiana and Southeast Oklahoma.

OUR CHALLENGE: The ArkLaTex has a population of more than 1 million people including dozens of hospitals, hundreds of clinics and thousands of doctors. Because the geographic area the ArkLaTex covers is vast, a large percentage of our healthcare dollars are spent by local citizens who travel up to 100 miles to get medical treatment or advice. This means some people do not have to up-to-date information for more distant doctors and clinics within our ArkLaTex region, and we hope to change that. Our demographic and economic research showed our local communities in the Four States area were far more socially and economically integrated than we originally realized, and local healthcare boasts one of the highest levels of integration across state lines. This led to an important question: How do we effectively report on healthcare in a region as large and diverse as the ArkLaTex?

REACHING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY: To cover ArkLaTex health and healthcare in a logical way, we decided to create local "hubs" to distribute news. This would allow us to produce "hyperlocal" or "very local" news for the important communities of our region. The goal is to offer a network of ArkLaTex news websites that collects information on city and county healthcare to distribute the stories here on ArkLaTexHealth.com while also providing exclusive coverage of news stories that affect the entire ArkLaTex region. An added benefit is that our effort could spur additional economic growth in our healthcare sector as more ArkLaTex citizens become educated about other local health options within our own region.

HEALTHCARE MATTERS: Above all else, we wanted to be sure we effectively reported on health in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. This gave us one more challenge: Because our region includes four states, we needed a way to cover state issues unique to our region while still retaining our original vision of incorporating the broader ArkLaTex region.This led to the creation of four state website news hubs: Northeast  Texas News, North Louisiana News, Southwest Arkansas News and SoutheastOklahoma.com

HASSLE-FREE, BUSINESS-FRIENDLY ADVERTISING: We want to provide exceptional value to local businesses. Therefore, we're offering $99 per month teaser ads along with other discounts on advertising packages through February 2021. Plus, there's no contract to sign on ArkLaTexHealth.com. Click here to advertise now for best placement. Space is limited.

ARKLATEX HEALTH AND THE WAY FORWARD: Our mission is simple: We want to provide relevant, interesting health news and information for the citizens of Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, Southeast Oklahoma and North Louisiana. We also want people in other areas of the ArkLaTex (and beyond) to learn more about local medical professionals, clinics and hospitals outside their own city and county in this wonderful region we all call home - while doing our part to promote local health commerce, add healthcare jobs and keep ArkLaTex citizens healthy.

Randa Thornton-Mason

ABOUT OUR EDITOR

Randa Thornton-Mason has a lengthy history of community service and business activity in the Ark-La-Tex. Before coming here, she attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas and worked as a bank and corporate retail auditor. As the wife of a US serviceman, she was employed in Germany by American Express Bank. After making a decision to establish roots in the Ark-La-Tex, Mrs. Thornton-Mason served as PTA president for area elementary and junior high schools. An avid painter, she was also named Cultural Arts Chairman for Texarkana ISD schools. For more than seven years, she served as director for a local ministry with five buses that brought children from Texas and Arkansas to church services and functions. She also wrote a weekly newsletter column about her experiences. In business, Mrs. Thornton-Mason served on the Board of Directors of Central Mall for more than 15 years. She owned and managed a Christian bookstore for over two decades and owned a seasonal Christmas store for 15 years. She also held and operated a James Avery jewelry franchise for more than two decades until James Avery retired from franchising and she retired from business in the early 2000s. Mrs. Thornton-Mason later worked as a business development consultant to help international Christian bookstores in Europe achieve better marketing and product distribution. She also helped operate annual international conventions in Amsterdam. On the internet, Mrs. Thornton-Mason distinguished herself in the mid-1990s by becoming a full partner of a top national Christian retail website that still successfully operates today. Although she humorously describes herself as somewhat of a technophobe, she also helped create and finance other websites in the 1990s which were later acquired and merged with other companies. She looks forward to using her years of experience in business, community service, journalism and the arts to fulfill her new mission of bringing local news, information and increased visibility to our Ark-La-Tex region.