A Lasting Impact

I was surprised to hear my name called from across the parking lot of the grocery store.  “Hey, Dr. Sampson!”  I recognized him right away as one of the troubled teens that we had worked with for years at the Samaritan Health Center.  Our nurse team had met with Eric frequently for months, to talk about his weight issues as well as his mood and outlook on life.  He would talk about the “dark thoughts” he would often have, and he would listen to music and draw pictures with dark themes.

Over time, the nurses talked to him about the Lord, telling him that life does not have to be full of darkness.  At first, he was resistant to the counsel that there is light in this world, and that God loves us.  It took months and months of meetings with him and talks with our nurses, but you could see that he was starting to change.  Eventually, at one of the sessions, Eric allowed our staff to pray for him. It seemed like a burden had been lifted from him, and he had grown a big smile.  He wasn’t focused on darkness anymore. That’s the power of the gospel at work.

Since his graduation from high school a few years ago, I had not seen Eric.  Then, all of a sudden, he was standing there in front of me in the parking lot, asking about Samaritan and telling me that he was doing well and was excited to have a job at the grocery store. He wanted me to greet all of the nurses who had befriended him and took the time to care for him.  And even though he is still working on his weight issues, he seemed so content and happy.

That short encounter was priceless; it was great to see the ongoing impact of our clinic on the youth of our community.

– Dr. Don Sampson, Clinical Director


I was very encouraged last week to see one of our young teens in our office for a physical exam.  It was the kind of visit that highlighted what I love most about Samaritan Health Center. 

We have shared this young woman’s story with you before, so this is a bit of an update. 

Last year, she came to the office with her father complaining of 3 weeks of vomiting and stomach upset.  We did our evaluation of her and diagnosed her as being early in pregnancy.  I am sure that she knew that this could be the case, but her father did not let on that this was a possibility.

She did not want us to tell her father, but through 15 minutes of conversation we were able to convince her that she should tell her father here at the clinic where we could help to temper his response.  Not that he was an angry person, but anyone taking that kind of news would tend to get emotional. 

To me, it was the most beautiful thing to see the daughter tell her father and to see the love and commitment for each other that followed.  Her mother was also in the room and was very emotional, but so very supportive.  Though certainly an unwanted and intense situation, I think the worst possible thing is that a hurting and confused teen would walk out our door and seek an end to the problem at another doctors office. – Dr. D.S.