Campus clinic enables the called to serve
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – It changes every year. Sometimes it begins before Thanksgiving, other times not until mid-January. On average, the outbreak begins in December. Regardless of when it will begin, one thing is certain: cold and flu season looms on the horizon.
Richard Knight, the physician at Southwestern’s campus medical clinic, offers simple preventive methods: wash your hands and be careful to avoid exposure in public. He also says it’s not too late to get a flu immunization, which the clinic offers.
Southwestern’s on-campus clinic, located at 4501 Stanley Ave. across the street from Roberts Library, opened in 2006. Several decades ago, the seminary operated the Walsh Medical Center on campus, but it was eventually closed and converted into the Walsh Counseling Center, leaving Southwestern without an on-campus clinic for many years.
In 2005, during a campus visit, Richard Knight met with Dr. Patterson, who had been Knight’s pastor decades earlier at First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ark.
“He had a vision to have a clinic here on the campus for students and families,” Knight recalls, “and he asked me if I wanted to come and be a part of that. So we prayed about it for a few months. The Lord was just directing, ‘Yeah, go do that’. So here we are.”
The clinic staff consists of Knight and two nurses. They offer services to faculty, staff, students, dependents and campus guests, Monday through Friday. The majority of cases fall under the category of “urgent care,” which includes sicknesses and minor injuries.
Knight approximates the clinic’s costs at one-fifth those of other clinics in the area.
“We have the low-cost clinic visit fee [of $25],” Knight says. “And then any other services that we do here are on a cost-basis, so whether it's vaccines or supplies, we only charge what it costs us to get those things.”
“The vision or goal for this clinic,” Knight says, “is a ministry support for those who are going on to full-time ministry in some form or fashion. Our mission here is to support their health to enable them to do that in a healthy fashion.
“We can take time with each patient to understand their needs. I have a freedom here to minister. I can share Scripture with a patient. I can pray with a patient. I can counsel with them in ways that it would be much more difficult out in the public realm. We try not only to help their medical needs; we try to have a ministry of encouragement, meeting the other needs as well.”
For more information about the clinic, including hours of operation and contact information, visit swbts.edu/clinic.