Meet Some of Our Wonderful Volunteers
Dr. Cheryl Jan Rogers
Jan's path to becoming an MD was anything but straight forward. She initially applied to the new medical school at Texas Tech in Lubbock in 1975 but was turned down because they were not accepting applications from women that year.
Instead, she decided to pursue her dream to become a doctor in Mexico. Since it was taught in Spanish, she bought medical books in both English and Spanish and it was a rewarding experience. After three years she transferred to the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky and received her Medical Degree in 1982, spent a few years in private practice and in the JPS Emergency room teaching staff before being recruited by the Department of Veteran Affairs where she enjoyed serving those who have served our nation.
She spent her career at the VA developing primary care programs for both men and women veterans, however primarily women veteran programs and a bioethics program in Amarillo, El Paso and Fort Worth VA Clinics.
Later, as chair of El Paso's Emergency Systems Policy board, she helped develop the emergency plan that was enacted after the El Paso Walmart mass shooting in 2019.
Her awards are many:
Developed a VA/DOD sharing agreement for breast cancer screening and received the 2009 Best Practice for preventive care breast cancer screening which she presented in Washington D.C.
Received an Aquilus Emeritus “ Best Practice “ from the Veteran Business Association.
Appointed by then Mayor of El Paso Larry Francis to the EMS policy board where she served as chair of the committee. They developed the merger of the Fire and the EMS Department in El Paso and the international border.
Awarded by Arlington Great Southwest Rotary for service advocating for Veteran health care.
Jan is currently enjoying her volunteer work with the Mercy Clinic, especially the Hispanic population where she enjoys using her Spanish.
Ellie & Emily Sullivan
Patients and volunteers often do a double take because of two TCU nursing students who are regular volunteers at the clinic. Ellie and Emily Sullivan brighten the hallways and rooms of the clinic with their infectious smiles and compassionate hearts. The ministry of Mercy Clinic was introduced to them by their grandparents who had seen the clinic sign during a visit to church. Knowing their granddaughters were freshmen nursing majors and fluent in Spanish led to a quick connection. For Emily and Ellie, the ministry combines 3 of their passions: Spanish, medicine, and Jesus.
Emily particularly appreciates the opportunity to pray with patients. Both enjoy the freedom to observe patient care and using their nursing skills; and the wonderful balance between treating the patient and teaching moments. Emily and Ellie have invited their fellow nursing students to volunteer as well. Rachel Farrow and Mallory Dean are TCU nursing students who love the cooperative spirit and the caring volunteers that also serve at Mercy Clinic.
Meet Donnie Smith, the smiling face you often see on the front porch of Mercy Clinic has been with Mercy Clinic since the beginning. Donnie was integral in the planning, demolition and remodel of the current home of Mercy Clinic.
Donnie is a native of Dallas, a graduate of Baylor University, and a local Fort Worth attorney. Donnie is married to Michele and they have three adult children. During football season, you’ll find him officiating high school games all over the metroplex. He easily admits that one receives more than one gives when volunteering on the security detail. Sure, there are the occasional speeding cars in the parking lot, but Donnie receives joy as he sees burdens lifted off the patients of the clinic. He can see it in their faces. The difference in demeanor between 4:30PM as patients wait on the porch until they are departing with helpful information, instruction from the doctors and nurses, and a prescription is very noticeable.
Donnie’s claim to fame here is his devotion to maintaining our building from the destructive habits of the squirrels. He will be happy to relay a story – just ask him about the squirrels.
Meet Benito Jackson. Benito has been volunteering at Mercy Clinic since January 2017. His life experiences bring an added dimension to the compassion of the clinic. We are praising God that he is in remission from his cancer! He brings empathy and understanding to his work as an interpreter at the clinic born out of these trials. He can readily sense the fear of our patients as they face the unknown of a diagnosis, an X-ray or a lab test.
During his cancer treatment, Benito shied away from people as a medical necessity but as he emerged from that “hibernation”, his wife became aware of the need for interpreters at the clinic. Benito agreed to give it a try. Initially, it was overwhelming. The clinic was busy and there seemed to be volunteers doing specific work. He wondered how he would fit in. If a volunteer feels overwhelmed, Benito’s advice is to listen, watch, observe and then jump in. You will become a piece of the puzzle in the experience and care of the patients you meet.
We like to ask our volunteers, “What is memorable about volunteering at Mercy Clinic?” For Benito, every patient experience is memorable. Acts 3:6 comes to his mind- “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you…” – when Peter offered healing to the paralytic. Mercy Clinic offers medical and dental care and most importantly the message of Jesus. Benito shares with our patients that in their fears and concerns God is aware and God knows your concerns. He senses the great relief as patients realize the presence of God in their circumstances.
Benito is returning to the work force as a substitute teacher in the Forth Worth schools this fall. He will bring a wealth of knowledge from his career as an aerospace engineer and wisdom because of his life experiences. The good news for Mercy Clinic is that he sees his volunteer work at the clinic as a priority.
Eli has been volunteering at Mercy Clinic for 2 years and works as an interpreter in our dental services. This area relies on great teamwork and Eli has become an integral part of the dental team. Armed with a great sense of humor, he has the gift of helping patients with their anxiety during their dental visits. The dentists and dental assistants who call him friend regard his service as a gift to them as well!
Eli came to us after his ability to work at his job at Bell Helicopter changed and he was looking for a way to give back to the community. He views all of his experiences at the clinic as special moments because of the opportunity to help others. Eli was born in Mexico, became a naturalized citizen of the US when he was 8 years old, and has lived in Fort Worth since that time.
He is married with three adult sons. Be on the lookout for someone who looks like Eli – he has a twin brother!
Charlotte & Tom Newsom
Meet Tom and Charlotte who received the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award!
Their hometown is Irving but they have lived in El Paso, Austin and in other cities. They are now retired, enjoying their two children and four grandchildren.
Congratulations on 50 years of marriage!
After moving to the DFW area, the Newsoms pursued their goals to be involved in ministry activities as part of their retirement. As a result of hearing about Mercy Clinic in their Bible study, Charlotte and Tom have been volunteers since September 2013 when we expanded clinic operations to Thursday nights.
Charlotte works in patient registration, keeping paperwork and computer records organized. As a choir director in public schools, her joy and patience was cultivated, much needed skills for dealing with an electronic medical records system! Tom’s work is more varied. As the security/ front porch greeter, he encounters different scenarios every Thursday. Our front porch staff is a full service operation. One evening, three young girls needed help with their homework. This was not a problem for Tom as a former CPA! Tom counts this as one of his most memorable ministry moments at Mercy Clinic, an opportunity to meet these young girls’ needs right on the Mercy Clinic porch.