Christ’s Family Clinic was birthed in 2003 by then PhD student, Scott Sager, as a response to a question posed in one of his doctoral classes at SMU: Who are the marginalized in your community?
This idea for our clinic was brought to members of the Preston Road Church of Christ who began discussing health care models available in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In the midst of one of the wealthiest communities in the United States, they realized that there were many “working poor”, who supported Park Cities families and businesses, but who did not have access to quality healthcare. And while there were clinics for the poor in Dallas, most were in severely depressed communities, many too far away for workers to receive care during business hours, and many were a challenge for volunteer doctors to attend. In addition, many of these clinics were targeted toward patients on Medicaid rather than the “working poor;” those who make too much income to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private health insurance.
Could the church put together a model that would emphasize service, rather than facilities and staffing, and still provide high-quality health care? Preston Road Church of Christ decided to take a chance and with their support and under the guidance of Dr. William Abraham of SMU and Dr. Jim Walton of Baylor Hospital, Sager’s doctoral project founded what is now known as Christ’s Family Clinic. The concept was launched with two volunteer physicians and a part-time staff person.
Today, the Clinic has expanded to the entire lower level of the church and patient volume, just via word-of-mouth referrals, has increased to almost 1,200 visits annually. The Clinic facilities include: three exam rooms, a full Ophthalmology suite, an in-house lab and a fully-stocked supply closet. The Clinic is as nice as any area private practice. The number of volunteer physicians has grown to 16 and includes a list of specialists as well. As of September 2014, Christ’s Family Clinic has one paid, part-time, staff physician, who sees patients during normal business hours.