By Cody Garrett
Steven Chae, pastor at the Jesus Hope and Love Mission in downtown Killeen, was busy Saturday, serving meals, setting up chairs, gently giving directions and making sure the people lining up for health check-ups and pharmaceutical referrals knew where to go and whom to see.
“This is one of our favorite places to come,” said Katy Silverman, RN, BSN. Normally, a pediatric operation, the event Saturday also welcomed adults for dental screening, podiatry, dermatology, and vouchers for immunizations. “It’s totally free. That’s the main thing,” Silverman said.
It was an all-volunteer operation. There were 30 volunteers in all, including doctors, medical students, and at least one service member getting ready to deploy to Kuwait.
Ethan Johnson, 25, said he’s set to head out “this coming Saturday.” Originally from Michigan, he was asked what he thought about Texas. “It would be OK if the A/C worked,” he said with a smile.
He said giving of themselves was why he was there and why he would continue to be there for this organization. “I had four of my soldiers here today,” volunteering.
“We want the community to know that we are available,” Silverman said. “And they really are free.” The clinic is there every third Saturday.
Counselors were available for mental health screening. Silverman said it didn’t happen very often, but if a patient screened for extreme hypertension or other emergency-type situations, EMS would be on the spot.
Pastor Chae served up ribs and sausage links and said events like these are what brings him the most joy.
“Churches open their doors,” he said.
“I would say we have seen more of an adult population,” Silverman said. “It’s kind of ‘everybody’s welcome,’” she said.
The Partner Pediatric Clinic is located at 818 N. Fourth St. in Killeen at the Jesus Hope and Love Mission, right behind the downtown H-E-B.