LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Ten years of free medical care for the underprivileged. That was something to celebrate tonight at the Merket Alumni Center.
The idea of a free clinic was launched in August 10 years ago by Texas Tech medical students who decided it was their duty to provide health care and compassion to those who may be without.
Rebecca Kernen, a second year medical student on the leadership committee at the free clinic, says “They’re like homeless a lot of the time and they go up and down with their lives and if we are constant and a resource, we can build relationships with them. That is totally awesome.”
Dr. Steven Berk, Dean of the Texas Tech School of Medicine, says “Even first and second year students wind up having a major role and feel comfortable taking care of patients for the first time in the clinic because we have excellent supervision from our faculty.”
Since it opened in 2009, the free clinic has seen more than 13,000 patient visits. Dr. Brk says in that time it has also grown to play a major role in education beyond medical students to include other schools in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Even more impressive, medical students, physicians, pharmacists, mental health professionals and the many others who provide services there do so entirely on a volunteer basis.
The Texas Tech free clinic opens its doors every Wednesday at 6 p.m. to the under-served or uninsured in what was previously a church in Lubbock at 34th and Boston.