WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Although it opened up almost two years ago, the Community Healthcare Center’s Vernon College Clinic wasn’t able to have that ribbon-cutting until Friday, June 3.

One upside to waiting for the ribbon-cutting was they were able to show off examples of the difference this clinic is making already.

“This clinic is humming, it’s been humming. In my 35 years of doing this work, it has probably been the best partnership that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of,” Community Healthcare Center CEO Allen Patterson said.

And that’s saying something, as that partnership between the Community Healthcare Center and Vernon College shows off its new clinic.

Not only benefitting students and faculty but the future of the medical field as well.

“In our particular case, it’s helped us kind of pitch in to help train our next generation of caregivers, which was always on our mind in doing it. And so, we’ve been able to do that and even hire some of those students coming out of Dusty’s programs and I know the whole community is benefitting from it,” Patterson said.

With the CHC already in the business of helping those receive access to medical treatment who need it most, it just made sense for Dr. Dusty Johnston and the rest of the Vernon College Board to team up to make a difference.

“More than anything it shows we’re a partner to the community. We’re concerned about the community, we want to be involved and we wanted to provide this space for that opportunity. We’re already into the workforce providing business and this just gives us one more opportunity to do a good job in Wichita Falls, Wichita County,” Vernon College President Dr. Dusty Johnston said.

And they are already seeing it pay off as students prepare for the next step.

“It’s really nice to see them grow in their knowledge and confidence in providing medical care for their patients and getting them ready to be able to practice on their own,” family nurse practitioner Amy Studer said.

Now with the partnership even growing, as during the talks to open up this clinic, the CHC and Vernon College also identified the need for a clinic at Wilbarger General Hospital in Vernon to add to this one.

“We’re a federally qualified health center, that’s what makes us special. [Vernon College] is a junior college, that makes them really special, and I think that’s the really coolness to this partnership, that two really special type entities have come together and I can’t begin to tell you how well it’s working and how well it’s going to work downstream,” Patterson said.

One-of-a-kind healthcare in the community and one-of-a-kind opportunities for those at Vernon College.