Celebrating Dr. Robert Gibbs!

March 25 through 31 is “National Physicians Week”! Organized by Physicians Working Together, this week is an opportunity to highlight and thank those doctors across the country who provide quality care, especially those in rural or minority communities or serving disadvantaged populations. Patients and colleagues can help show their support by spreading the news of their good work through social media and thanking them with a red carnation.

We would like to issue a BIG THANK YOU to Dr. Robert Gibbs, the Penrose-St Francis volunteer physician who provides medical care and prescription services to our clients. Dr. Gibbs works closely with Nurse Cindy Stickel, the Faith Community Nurse from Penrose-St. Francis in our Neighborhood Nurse Center to make sure clients have access to medical care, medical referrals and medical advice who otherwise might not be able to do so. He is available by appointment, every Tuesday morning.

Dr. Gibbs was the catalyst for the medical clinic at Tri-Lakes Cares! In 2008, Dr. Gibbs approached Jackie Sward, a Faith Community Nurse previously employed by Penrose-St. Francis Health Services regarding the health needs of the local community and possible gaps in care for the low-income or those who were uninsured or underinsured. He offered to volunteer his services as a family practice physician.

On May 20, 2008, the Tri-Lakes Volunteer Outreach Clinic was opened, housed by Tri-Lakes Cares. In the early years of the clinic, Dr. Gibbs met with and treated up to 15 patients per week, especially those who experienced financial difficulties during the “Great Recession.” In 2010, he consulted and treated with 449 duplicated patients.

Those client numbers have dropped in recent years due to the Affordable Care Act, with more people having access to affordable insurance or qualifying for Medicaid and other insurance. In 2016, his case load has dropped to 25 clinic visits.

But, Dr. Gibbs continues to serve with compassion. Even if there is only one patient scheduled for an appointment, he will be there to see that patient. He sees each patient as an individual and devotes as much time as needed to ensure the best medical approach and care is provided.

One patient wrote “…he genuinely cares for his patients regardless of their ability to pay for services.”

A volunteer noted “His gentle treatment of his patients and the clients we serve here is very heartwarming to watch. He takes time to know the individual he is serving and understands not only their medical needs, but also their special life’s circumstances. I feel it gives him a window, or a clue, into their lives.”

In some ways, you could almost think of Dr. Gibbs as the “friendly country doctor” but he is so much more than that at Tri-Lakes Cares. To clients he is a trusted confidant and expert, while to volunteers and staff he is a dear friend and co-worker.

We are truly blessed to have Dr. Gibbs with us! Thank you for all that you do every day and especially at Tri-Lakes Cares!


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