SMU will dedicate a new facility to provide comprehensive medical care to its 11,000 students at 11:45 a.m., Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.
The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center – a two-story, 33,000-square-foot building completed over the summer – is the University’s new home for medical and counseling services, a full-service pharmacy and the health education program.
“SMU is committed to providing care for our students’ physical and mental health, as well as teaching students healthy habits that will influence the rest of their lives,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The professional, confidential and convenient care provided at the Dr. Bob Smith Medical Center will contribute to our students’ success.”
Named for a University alumnus and benefactor who was also a prominent Dallas medical leader, the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center was constructed on the site of the former Memorial Health Center. It features a sky-lit atrium, high ceilings, large windows and natural finishes. New technology enables students to check in to appointments with a swipe of their ID card and receive messages from the health center via e-mail and text.
“It is such a joy to see my father honored in this special way,” said Sally Smith Mashburn ’77. “He would be delighted to see this wonderful facility and staff members providing well-rounded and excellent care for SMU students.”
The first floor of the center houses medical services, the pharmacy and health education offices. The medical services area is staffed by board-certified physicians, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, registered nurses and medical technicians. It includes 10 newly equipped exam rooms, a treatment room for minor surgical procedures, two patient observation rooms, two patient consultation rooms and several private waiting areas. A medical laboratory and radiology facilities also are located in the medical services area.
The health center, accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc., provides care to students for acute illnesses, infections, injuries, minor medical procedures, immunizations and allergies as well as diagnostic X-rays and laboratory tests. Specialists in sports medicine, gynecology and dermatology also treat students at the center. The full-service pharmacy provides prescription medications and patient counseling and supports a small convenience store.
Counseling Services, located on the second floor, are provided by licensed psychologists and counselors, psychiatrists, doctoral interns and post-doctoral fellows. The new health center includes 19 counseling offices as well as a separate area for sexual assault counseling. Professionals are available to see students for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and relational disorders and their services include evaluations, medication consultations and individual and group therapy.
The health center also includes two comfortable rooms designed for support groups. Counseling and referral for drug and alcohol abuse are available, as is ongoing support for recovering students. SMU Counseling Services are accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.
A multi-purpose classroom on the first floor of the new health center provides a dedicated space for educators to expand student health education to include more preventive, wellness and peer-education programs. SMU’s health education program includes student orientation programs, training for student peer health educators and student wellness programs. The health center also includes a testing center for administration of psychological testing as well as national tests such as the SAT, LSAT and GRE.
“We know the importance of supporting the whole student, and research shows that good physical and mental health is key to student success,” says Pamela Anthony, vice president for student affairs. “The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is a reflection of the high value we place on our students’ well-being, and we are determined to make sure every student knows about the resources that are available to them there.”
Charles Robert “Bob” Smith earned a B.A. in psychology from SMU in 1944. He graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, then returned to Dallas to begin his 30-year career as a pediatrician. Smith was a co-founder of Doctors Hospital in East Dallas, serving as its CEO from 1959 to 1984. He founded Doctors Healthcare Center, heading it from 1964 to 1994, and founded Arcady Health Services Corporation, a healthcare management company.
Together with his wife, Jean, Dr. Smith created the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation in 1985 to support higher education, medical education and research and health. At SMU, the foundation funded the Bob Smith M.D. Pre-Medical Studies Center in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium in Meadows Museum, and a challenge grant for the SMU Annual Fund.
Four generations of the Smith family have attended SMU, including Dr. Smith’s father, his brothers and two sisters, all five of Dr. and Mrs. Smith’s children, and several grandchildren.