A patient/doctor bond

Bill and Dr. Andres’ story

A man walks with his doctor. The pace is brisk. This is not the first time they have been out walking together and it won’t be the last. These fitness walks have become a habit for both of them. This man’s name is Bill Shirer and a long time ago, he quit smoking and started giving.

Bill has always been an advocate for those in need – it’s part of his nature. But when he got to know Jerome Andres, MD, of Ministry Medical Group in Woodruff his generous spirit really started to swing into action. The two have teamed up on many community efforts ranging all the way from a local skateboard park to a school nurse program.

Bill considers Dr. Andres, or “Dr. Jake” as he calls him, to be more than just his doctor. He is a friend, a coconspirator, and a confidant. He has given Bill plenty of medical advice over the years, but has gone the extra mile as well. When he finally got Bill to stop smoking, he convinced him to invest the money he was saving which allowed his son to go to school debt-free. The two men are still close, teaming up on fundraisers and getting together casually.

And today, walking next to this healthy man, Dr. Andres sees the same thing he saw the first day Bill came into his office – not a patient, but a person. And for Bill and his son, that has made all the difference.

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