SMU broke ground in December on the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, a 33,000-square-foot facility designed to provide comprehensive outpatient health care to more than 11,000 SMU students on an ongoing basis throughout each school year.
A $5 million gift from the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation funded the new building named for Dr. Charles Robert Smith ’44, ’46, longtime Dallas pediatrician and SMU alumnus. The funding will enable center staff to increase promotion of student wellness through health education, medical services and counseling and psychiatric services.
“From caring for some of Dallas’s youngest patients to establishing medical care facilities for patients of all ages, Dr. Bob Smith demonstrated his devotion to health care in Dallas his entire life,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This gift to name the health center honors Dr. Smith’s love of his alma mater and supports good health for all SMU students.”
The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2016.
The new two-story building is designed to provide outpatient medical care for students, including laboratory, radiology and pharmacy services. Students will receive care from the center’s full- and part-time physicians as well as from part-time specialists in dermatology, gynecology and sports medicine in 10 newly equipped exam rooms with private waiting areas. The medical care area of the facility also will include two new consultation rooms for physician-patient meetings, two rooms for patient observation and a treatment room. In addition, the expanded space includes offices for the addition of dental services at the center, as well as space for extended evening and weekend hours for student care.
“The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center will provide medical and mental health care with a focus on promoting wellness and sound health decision-making,” said Lori White, SMU vice president for Student Affairs. “Research shows that there is an important link between a student’s wellness and the ability to thrive academically. Encouraging students to make healthy lifestyle decisions while in college will provide them with a firm foundation for enjoying a healthy life postcollege.”
A classroom in the new center will enable health educators to expand student health education to include more prevention, wellness and peer-education programs such as fitness classes, health screenings and programs aimed at substance abuse prevention. The new health center also will include additional space for a counseling and psychiatric services program.