Betty Stephens’ faces shown brilliantly Wednesday as her son, Dr. John Stephens, spoke for her family at the ribbon cutting for the Grayson County Health Clinic. Officials from Grayson County, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital — WNJ, Texoma Medical Center and representatives from Texoma Health Foundation and the Wilson N. Jones Community Foundation all agreed that Dr. Ray Stephens, husband to Betty, was ahead of his time when it came to caring for the medically underserved or unserved in the community.

Betty Stephens’ faces shown brilliantly Wednesday as her son, Dr. John Stephens, spoke for her family at the ribbon cutting for the Grayson County Health Clinic. Officials from Grayson County, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital — WNJ, Texoma Medical Center and representatives from Texoma Health Foundation and the Wilson N. Jones Community Foundation all agreed that Dr. Ray Stephens, husband to Betty, was ahead of his time when it came to caring for the medically underserved or unserved in the community.


"This is a very high honor," John Stephens said but then added, if his father were still alive, he probably would not have allowed the photo of the couple to be hung in the GCHC.


"He liked to … work behind the scenes," John Stephens said of his father.


After the ribbon cutting Betty Stephens said her husband would have been delighted to see the new clinic open.


"He was very excited about it," Betty Stephens said of her husband of 57 years, who died in August after a brief illness. Dr. Ray Stephens was a 1946 graduate of Sherman High School and was named a Distinguished Ex-Student in 2004. He was a 1950 graduate of Austin College and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1985. Dr. Ray Stephens received his medical degree with honors from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston in 1954, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Stephens took the words of the society’s founder, "Be worthy to serve," to heart throughout his career.


Betty Stephens said her husband returned to Sherman to set up his practice, and the two met and eventually married. He served the women of the area as a obstetrician and gynecologist until he retired in 1992. She said he treated and delivered babies for women who had no insurance or ability to pay for his services, often through a program with the Grayson County Health Department. During his career, Stephens delivered more than 10,000 babies. He was board certified in obstetrics – gynecology.


Bynum said Wednesday that everyone involved with the planning for the Grayson County Health Clinic jumped on board the idea to dedicate the clinic to Dr. Ray Stephens and his wife because they exemplified the type of attention to patients’ needs that the partners involved with the GCHC want to see practiced there. Bynum said there will be people who show up at the clinic with problems that can’t be treated there, such as dental issues, mental health issues or substance abuse issues.


But hopefully, he said, the clinic can be the center point in a wagon wheel of services that will one day be offered to those who need them but can’t afford the going rate for them. He said often society clumps people who can’t afford to pay full price for health care in with people who don’t want to pay for their treatment. Often times, he said, people want to pay what they can and are happy to do so for good quality care.


Dr. Ray Stephens would have wanted people to get that care and, Bynum said, the parties involved with the GCHC hope that the entity is on track to make that happen even if it isn’t all ready immediately. The clinic, he said, is something about which everyone, even those on the far right and left, ought to be able to agree.


Dr. John Stephens said seeing the dedication to his parents was like watching their lives of giving to the community come full circle.


Dr. Ray Stephens’ obituary said he "was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He served as an elder and trustee of Covenant Presbyterian Church, where he was a longtime member. He served on the Austin College Board of Trustees during the 1980s and 1990s, and remained active as a senior trustee until his death. He most recently co-chaired, with his wife, Betty, the 2013 Austin College Community Campaign, raising more than $600,000 in local donations for the College.


"As past president of the Rotary Club of Sherman, he was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. He was past chairman of Goodwill Industries of Northeast Texas and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Old Settlers Association of Grayson County. He was a past member of the Wilson N. Jones Foundation Board. He also served as a trustee of the Byrd Fielder Livingood Charitable Trust, which provides for the medical expenses of the indigent elderly. In 2010, Stephens was honored with the Emmett Essin Community Service Award from (the) Wilson N. Jones Medical Center Foundation."


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