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What is Hattiesburg Clinic Connections?

What is Hattiesburg Clinic Connections?

By: Jonathan W. Shook, MD

Being a pediatrician at Hattiesburg Clinic, I often get asked, “What is Connections?”  So, I thought this blog would be a good place to briefly describe Connections, the providers and services available, and who should consider being evaluated at Connections.  Hattiesburg Clinic Connections serves as a regional resource center for children and adolescents who struggle with learning, attention problems or behavioral concerns.

In recent years, children and adolescents have experienced increasing amounts of mental health challenges.  The following list from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website shows recent approximate incidences of the most common mental health diagnoses in children in the U.S.:  ADHD 9%, anxiety 7%, behavior problem (such as oppositional defiant disorder) 7% and depression 3%.  Dyslexia is the most common learning disability diagnosed in the U.S., with an incidence of 5%-15%, depending on which studies are used.  Autism spectrum disorder has an incidence of almost 2% in U.S. children.

The team at Connections uses evidence-informed practices as well as standard of care guidelines to help improve the lives of children and teens with all these conditions, among others.  Our providers remain dedicated to the goal of helping students and families function in such a way that each member reaches his or her fullest potential. It should be mentioned that Connections does not have a psychiatrist; therefore, when more complex conditions are encountered, or if difficulties remain after treatment, our providers will refer patients to a psychiatrist or other appropriate specialist when needed.

Care providers at Hattiesburg Clinic Connections include three pediatricians, two nurse practitioners, one physician assistant and two speech-language pathologists.  The pediatricians, nurse practitioners and physician assistant perform comprehensive history and physical exams on all new patients and discuss with the patient’s family the course and extent of the remaining phases of their evaluations.  After these evaluations are completed, these providers discuss the results as well as treatment recommendations going forward, which often include both medical and non-medical treatments.  If medical treatment is discussed, patients may choose to continue with medical management at Connections or decide to go to their primary care provider for treatment.

Speech-language pathologists at Connections provide part of the evaluation for most children evaluated for learning or attention problems.  This is because problems with speech, language, reading or writing are commonly found in many kids who are struggling.  Our speech-language pathologists also help parents understand what types of educational interventions or supports might benefit their child or adolescent after their evaluation.

Connections is in the same building as Hattiesburg Clinic Psychology & Counseling.  Patients at Connections receive thorough evaluations by psychologists who help guide treatment recommendations.  Psychological providers also offer counseling or behavior therapy, which can improve the lives of both children and their families.

Who should consider coming to Connections for an evaluation?  Any child or teenager struggling academically more than expected for his or her age or developmental level could benefit from an evaluation.  Children or teens with significant behavior concerns, signs of anxiety or depression, or certain developmental delays may need a thorough evaluation.

If you are concerned about a child or teen who is struggling, call Hattiesburg Clinic Connections today at 601-261-5159 to set up a visit to discuss starting an evaluation.


Information on this page should be utilized as a guide, not medical advice. If you feel you need to speak with someone regarding yours or a loved one’s behavioral or mental health, please contact our office.

Connections serves as a regional resource center providing medical, educational, speech/language and dyslexia evaluation services for children and teenagers. Following diagnosis, we work with you and your child to determine the best course of treatment and therapy for them. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 601-261-5159.



Garner Leverette


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