Dec 7, 2023
By Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer
Having married their senior year at Austin College, Dr. Chuck Phelps and Dr. Jeannine Hatt had thought their paths were set. They went to medical school together and planned to enter family medicine. After good experiences during their OB-GYN rotations as med students, they determined to enter that field.
After considering the broad field of family medicine and then coming off a difficult acting internship in OB-GYN, a month in the newborn nursery for Jeannine and radiology for Chuck made them realize they could have real passion for those specialties.
Their new paths were set.
“The die was cast and we are both so happy with our specialties,” Jeannine says. She is a pediatrician while Chuck is a radiologist. “It’s worked out very well. And we like being part of the community in Denison where we raised our kids. We’ve developed connections with the community, and I’m continuing to learn so much about all the philanthropy and the big hearts here.”
Choosing different career paths from their original intentions has turned out well for Jeannine and Chuck. Their adult children followed them into the fields of pediatrics and radiology.
Their choices have also led them to become deeply involved in their community, the newest way being the creation of the HP (Hatt Phelps) Child & Adolescent Wellness Fund through Texoma Giving Partners—a project of THF.
As a pediatrician, Jeannine thought the majority of her career work would be with infectious diseases. But over the years, she’s discovered her most important work centers on two major issues plaguing youth today: mental health and obesity.
“Those two issues feed on each other,” Jeannine says. “Many times these kids struggling with their weight become depressed. Many times depression will lead to eating disorders. I would say that’s the biggest challenge pediatricians are facing in their day-to-day practice. The financial barriers are terrible for something as simple as being able to refer a child to a nutritionist where the parents and child can learn what healthy foods are, and how to shop for and prepare those foods.”
Serving on the Texoma Health Foundation board, Jeannine saw the positive work done through Texoma Giving Partners in multiple areas, including with youth. She and Chuck made the decision to create the HP (Hatt Phelps) Child & Adolescent Wellness Fund to create a long-term, new source of funds to help children in their community.
Jeannine hopes the investment will lead to funding small needs with big impact in the lives of youth. “We hope to help children learn about and develop healthier lifestyles,” Jeannine says.
To contribute to the HP Child & Adolescent Wellness Fund or learn how to create a fund in Texoma, visit www.texomagivingpartners.org.