New doctor joins HI St. John's clinic

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Dr. Sonal Bhakta

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- After several months without a doctor, the St. John's clinic at Holiday Island now has a doctor in the house: Dr. Sonal Bhakta, who specializes in internal medicine.

Dr. Bhakta is here as part of a rural medical program with Mercy Health Systems. Under the program, in exchange for a scholarship, doctors serve a specified number of years in a rural community with a population of less than 15,000 and that is medically underserved as designated by the Health Resources & Service Administration of Health and Human Services.

There is no cost to Holiday Island for the service, but the district government had to sign a contract to agree for the doctor to come here. Dr. Bhakta will serve eight years.

Dr. Bhakta grew up in Springdale and took her medical training at the University of Arkansas Medical School. As an internal medicine specialist, she treats adults only.

She also works as a hospitalist, or in-hospital care physician, at Mercy-Rogers Hospital.

She has been working in the St. John's-Holiday Island clinic since May and works Monday through Wednesday every other week.

Dr. Bhaktal says that when she has time, she enjoys reading and live music. She makes her home in Springdale.

For more information, call the clinic at 479-363-9174.

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