Gift Of Life editorial — Men’s health screening June 22 celebrates memory of Dr. Glenn Alexander Sr.

Published 12:20 am Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Inspired by the tremendous contributions to public health and the boundless compassion of Dr. Glenn Alexander Sr., Gift of Life will be celebrating this hometown hero’s poignant legacy throughout the month of June and dedicating its Men’s Health Screening in Port Arthur on June 22 to his loving memory.

Not only is the mission of Dr. Alexander perfectly encapsulated by the spirit of Men’s Health Month, but Father’s Day lends an additional layer of significance, as he was truly the beloved father figure of Port Arthur.

For example, during the intense peaks and dark valleys of the Covid-19 pandemic, Port Arthur Director of Health Services Judith Smith, R.N., BSN, drew upon the encouragement of her lifelong friend, who uniquely understood the burdens of leadership during precarious times.

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“Dr. Glenn regularly sent me supportive and loving text messages,” Smith recalls. “Those texts got me through some of the most challenging days of the pandemic. I kept them all in a note on my phone as a reminder for days when I need to be uplifted and to remember the friendship I will forever cherish.”

As the former Port Arthur Nursing Director who helped train Smith, Dr. Alexander’s words of wisdom were underscored by years of experience in public health and a lifetime of community service.

A Port Arthur native, Dr. Alexander was passionate about his hometown and achieving as much education as possible. Though his academic pursuits took him to Prairie View A&M University and Texas Woman’s University, where he honed his skills in biology and nursing, he eventually returned home and became the first African American male-certified pediatric nurse practitioner in Orange and Jefferson counties.

His private practice spanned over three decades, during which he provided not just medical care but holistic, benevolent support to countless families. Upon his retirement in 2022, Dr. Alexander had served four generations of families and partnered with over nine universities to help train and mentor other advanced practice nurses.

“Dr. Glenn committed his whole heart to Port Arthur,” Smith says. “He always told us to stand in the gaps of our city and reminded us that love was the greatest motivator of all. This was something he exemplified in his life, as he prayed mightily for our entire community and gave everything he could to help everyone he could.”

Dr. Alexander’s life was defined by love. A sincere and humble man of God, the proud husband, father and grandfather founded Ruach Ministries International, a worship center that adopted a special mission to uplift the underserved.

This included the “poorest of the poor” in Haiti, where he transcended borders and transformed lives by providing medical care to thousands of destitute children.

Love fueled Dr. Alexander’s belief that his own personal heartaches and hardships could build bridges of understanding for those suffering. Upon a diagnosis of prostate cancer, he immediately embarked on a crusade of prostate cancer awareness and advocacy.

Using his cancer battle to educate and encourage early detection among men in his community, he became a symbol of hope and a champion for those facing similar battles, always emphasizing the importance of regular screenings and proactive health measures.

Dr. Alexander leveraged his position in the community and as a prostate cancer survivor to direct clients to Gift of Life’s free, lifesaving services for medically underserved men.

Last year, he attended the organization’s screening event at the Port Arthur Health Department to personally congratulate local men on their efforts to maintain good health.

The enormous impact Dr. Glenn Alexander, Sr., left on the Port Arthur citizens he loved and served is staggering in its depth and breadth. But, as we remember this beloved man, we are reminded of the powerful influence one person can have on a community and the enduring importance of caring for each other.

— Submitted by Holli Petersen, public affairs and marketing coordinator for Gift of Life. For more information, call 409-833-3663 or email