CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University announced that another community member will be presented with an honorary doctorate from the university during a commencement ceremony on Saturday.

According to a news release from WTAMU, Alan Keister, an Amarillo physician and the founder of Heal the City, will be presented with an honorary Ph.D. in health sciences from West Texas A&M’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Keister will be presented with this honorary doctorate at the 2 p.m. ceremony on Saturday at the First United Bank Center.

According to the release, Keister is an Amarillo High graduate and earned degrees from Baylor University, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and Vanderbilt University. Keister founded Heal the City in 2014 to serve uninsured patients throughout the region.

“WT has such a history as an institute of higher learning and of blessing the Texas Panhandle,” Keister said in the release. “To be honored by an institution like that and to be recognized for work that really has been a labor of love is incredibly humbling.”

Officials said this year, the Heal the City clinic is expected to serve around 8,000 patients and fill almost 38,000 prescriptions.

“Statistics do not begin to tell the story of the impact on the region that Dr. Alan Keister’s dream of a free clinic provides,” said Dr. J. Dirk Nelson, dean. “He lives a life of dedication to others, consistently having a positive and meaningful impact on the regional community and serving as an inspirational model for other communities throughout the nation. His passion for the medically underserved and less fortunate makes him an ideal candidate for an honorary doctorate in health sciences.”

“Dr. Keister’s commitment to healthcare, specifically to rural and underserved citizens, is remarkable,” WT President Walter V. Wendler added. “His dedication to serving others is unmatched. His presence and influence in the Texas Panhandle are unmatched.”

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