Old postcards link to county's lineage

The history of Saline County, shown through historic postcards and photos, will be presented at the Saline County History and Heritage Society at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Conducting a PowerPoint presentation will be Ray Hanley, president and chief executive officer of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care.

The program will take place at the society's center, 123 N. Market St. in Benton. It is open to the public.

Hanley acknowledges that, after his family and promoting health, his passion is history.

He and his brother Stephen began collecting postcards almost 40 years ago.

Hanley says the hobby started with a few old postcards and photos related to Arkansas history. Before either realized what was happening, they were hooked on history, Hanley said.

The Hanley brothers began publishing “Postcards from the Past” in 1986 at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Hanley has authored or co-authored 16 books on historical perspectives in Arkansas.

He has had vast experience in both the public and private sectors of health care, including 28 years with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, 16 years of which were as director of Arkansas Medicaid program.

Hanley spent seven years as the client industry executive for the state health and human services business aspect of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services. He joined AFMC in 2010, leading the nonprofit quality improvement organization in its mission to promote excellence in health and health care through education and evaluation.

He served as chairman of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors for a total of five years and remains an active alumnus of that association.

Hanley served as chairman of the Central Arkansas Sierra Club and has been a member of the American Public Welfare Association Board of Directors.

Shirley Coppock, program chairman for the society, said the organization is continually looking for Saline County history that has been preserved by families and organizations.

She named scrapbooks, photo albums, yearbooks of schools, civic and fraternal  organizations, etc.
She said the center has the equipment to make copies of historical items "if that step is needed in the quest to conserve our county’s vital history."