BANGS — For nurse practitioner Sara Spivey, the circle is about to be completed.
Spivey, who works in the Brownwood Regional Medical Center emergency room, is taking over the Bangs Medical Clinic Sept. 2.
The clinic’s current longtime owner, Dr. Charles Hall, is retiring, and he’s giving Spivey an enormous vote of confidence as Spivey prepares to begin operating the family practice osteopathic clinic.
“I’m from Bangs,” Spivey said as she sat next to Hall in the clinic’s waiting room Monday morning. “My family was here, and as a matter of fact, Dr. Stephens, who had the clinic before him was my husband’s uncle. So it’s kind of come full circle there.”
Spivey was referring to Dr. J.B. Stephens, who died in 2005.
“This community has raised my family for generations, and for me to be able to come back and serve this community in this capacity is a blessing beyond measure for me and my family.”
Hall said he’s retiring after 45 years in health care, including 33 years in Bangs. Hall said he’ll farm and ranch, and he and his wife Donna — the clinic’s office manager and accountant — want to do medical missionary work and evangelism.
Hall said the clinic sees patients “from birth to over 100 years old. We see most everything — heart, diabetes, cancer, sew people up, broken arms, just a little bit of everything — general family practice.”
Hall said if he needs to, he refers patients to the BRMC emergency room, where some of them have been treated by Spivey.
Saying he is “absolutely” confident in Spivey, Hall said, “first, she’s a godly person. She’s well trained. We send a lot of patients to the ER and they’re treated excellent. I knew Sara because she's had patients who went to the ER.
“They would come back and they were always accurately diagnosed. They always had the best treatment. She referred them appropriately if necessary.”
Spivey’s husband, Derrick, is in the Army National Guard and works as the medical readiness NCO at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene.
They have two daughters — Leisel, 21, a 2014 Bangs High School graduate who is entering the medical field, and Brynnan, 7, who attends school in Bangs.
Spivey grew up on a farm and attended Bangs schools through eighth grade, and was living in McAllen when she graduated from high school.
“I have a love of science, and caring for people is very dear to my heart,” Spivey said. “Very young in life, I knew that science was my favorite subject and it continues to be.
“I don’t pick up a book to read for pleasure, but I’ll read medical journals all day long.”
Spivey was a junior in high school when a biology teacher became an inspiration for her enter medicine.
Spivey earned a nursing degree from Texas Christian University, and completed her clinical training in the Fort Worth area. The family moved back to Brown County, where her and her husband’s families live.
While working as a nurse in the BRMC emergency room, Spivey completed a master’s degree from Texas Tech University in 2011 and became a board-certified nurse practitioner.
Spivey said Hall approached her in the feed store she and her husband own about taking over the Bangs Medical Clinic.
She said she isn’t completely leaving the BRMC emergency room. “I will still work in the emergency room as needed, maybe a few times a month, because I love my family there,” Spivey said.
“I love my patients there, and I love the hands-on, daily goings-on in the emergency room. I will miss my friends there, but I will be very excited to meet my patients here and take care of this community for as long as I can.”
Spivey said she wants to serve the community as long as Hall did. “I would love to be here and serve Bangs for the next 30 years,” she said.
As a nurse practitioner, Spivey said, she will work independently most of the time. She will also have a supervising physician — Dr. Molly Gray, who owns Cornerstone Family Medicine in Comanche.
“If I have a problem or a question or I feel like the patient needs to be seen by a physician, then she does that for me, and she gives me direction and guidance if needed,” Spivey said.
In a letter to his patients, Hall said Spivey is “highly skilled in general and family practice, as well as emergency room medicine … Bangs, Brown County and the surrounding communities will see a very smooth transition at Bangs Medical Clinic and all patients will continue to receive compassionate, high quality and affordable healthcare by Sara Spivey, board certified nurse practitioner.”