Dr. Roy Ivy

Dr. Roy Ivy Jr., a obstetrician/gynecologist, sits in an examination room Thursday at First Refuge Ministries. Ivy will help with women’s health at the clinic.

First Refuge Ministries will now be able to provide women’s health services, including free well women’s exams, as Dr. Roy Ivy Jr., an obstetrician/gynecologist, begins to volunteer at the ministry two to three days a week.

“It’s wonderful to be here,” Ivy said. “It’s wonderful to work here and help people. It makes you feel good.”

First Refuge Ministries provides free or low-cost medical and counseling services, a food pantry and referrals to other community resources.

After shadowing another First Refuge doctor to get acquainted with the clinic, Ivy’s first day seeing patients was Thursday. He is the first volunteer OB-GYN First Refuge has had, said Paul Juarez, executive director.

“We’ve got two nurse practitioners that do free well women’s exams here,” Juarez said. “They volunteer here once or twice a month, so someone volunteering every week is going to end up doing a lot more.”

Before coming to Denton from El Paso, Ivy, 76, volunteered for El Paso Baptist Clinic and had a practice, from which he retired in February.

“It’s wonderful to get to be able to volunteer and see him have that opportunity here,” said Ivy’s wife, Charlotte.

When volunteering, Dr. Ivy will be doing anything that has to do with women’s health, Juarez said.

“Women’s health is what we’re doing and whatever is his expertise, is what he’ll be serving the women that come in here,” Juarez said.

He said women’s health is “a huge need.”

“We’re just happy that God is providing that here in the community and that he’s using First Refuge to do that,” Juarez said.

Charlotte Ivy said her husband is “ready to get back to work.”

“He’s been kind of housebound and is like, ‘I gotta get out of here, I gotta do something,’” she said, laughing. “I’m saying, ‘Yes, please.’”

“I just don’t know how people quit,” Roy Ivy said. “I guess if they want to read, listen to the news. But I’ve just got to do something.”

Juarez said they expect to see the ministry’s client base expand with Ivy becoming a regular volunteer.

“Every doctor that we get expands our client base,” Juarez said. “I often say that, ‘We can do it better and cheaper than anyone else,’ so obviously when you get somebody that’s a professional that will volunteer their time, that’s cheaper than anyone else. You can’t get much cheaper than free ... and then better than anybody else — we don’t take insurance. So we don’t have to consider insurance whenever we’re diagnosing or serving people. We can go straight to what’s actually ailing them.”

The clinic is located at 1701 Broadway St. in Denton. To make an appointment, call 940-213-3571. The clinic will need the following documents: proof of income (last pay stub, Social Security eligibility letter, etc.), proof of residency (lease, mortgage coupon or current utility bill in patient’s name), driver’s license or other photo ID, proof that children reside in the household (birth certificate, Medicaid cards, report cards or current school records, or immunization records).

LIZZY SPANGLER can be reached via Twitter at @LizzySpangler.

Recommended for you