On a side street, tucked-in not far from where huge cruise ships dock on Galveston Island, St. Vincent’s Clinic has become an important part of one of the city’s most economically challenged neighborhoods. The clinic fulfills both the needs of local medical schools students and patients who can’t afford traditional health cars.
Stephanie Lahr sits in one of the simplest exam rooms you’ll ever see, inside an old, nondescript two story building a few blocks off of Broadway in one of the island’s toughest neighborhoods. She’s a fourth-year medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch and one of three clinic co-directors at St. Vincent’s.
Lahr and dozens of other UTMB students show up twice a week, on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, to provide free medical care to people who’ve run out of options.
Inside a cramped supply room, Lahr is briefing fourth-year medical student Mandy Turner as she gets ready for about two dozen patients expected to show-up for treatment. Turner says don’t let the clinic’s humble surroundings fool you.
Students run the clinic’s day-to-day operations, invaluable experience for soon-to-be doctors before they graduate, begin their residencies and in some cases, their own practices. Dr. Dennis Gore is a professor of surgery at UTMB and one of a number of physicians who advise the students at St. Vincent’s.
St. Vincent’s Clinic is part of St. Vincent’s House, which has been serving Galveston’s disadvantaged for more than 50 years.