Dr. Jan Patterson

Medicine and Christian Service

Jan PattersonDr. Jan Patterson’s distinguished career in the field of medicine spans more than three decades. An infectious diseases and integrative medicine physician, she is Professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases, Associate Dean for Quality and Lifelong Learning, and Director of the Center for Patient Safety and Health Policy in the Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Jan is the daughter of Wayne and Zona (Horn) Evans, both 1940 graduates of HSU who were active on campus as students and alumni. Jan grew up in Fort Worth, along with her brother, David, and sister, Lyn. Theirs was a close, loving family centered around faith in God. They were active members of Gambrell Street Baptist Church where her father was organist and Jan enjoyed playing guitar and singing with her friends.

It was natural for Jan to follow her parents’ to HSU. Active in Tri Phi and Student Congress, she has fond memories of living on campus and making lifelong friends, like when Tri Phi won the All-School Sing with their arrangement of songs from “A Chorus Line.” She graduated in 1978 with a double major in biology and chemistry, choosing a BA over a BS so she could take an additional French class.

Jan earned her medical degree at UT McGovern Medical School in Houston where she was recognized as Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine and Pathology. During her senior year, she was sponsored by the Foreign Mission Board to work at Bangalore Baptist Hospital in India, which kindled her interest in infectious diseases. She then completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she me a fellow Texan, Dr. Tom Patterson, who became her favorite collaborator and husband.

The Pattersons both did fellowships in infectious diseases, conducted research and spent their early faculty years at Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital where Dr. Jan Patterson was also the Associate Hospital Epidemiologist as well as Hospital Epidemiologist at the West Haven VA Medical Center. Dr. Patterson later earned a master’s in health care management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Pattersons returned to Texas in 1993 where they joined the faculty of the Long School of Medicine at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio and Dr. Patterson was appointed Chief of Medicine for the Audie Murphy VA Hospital. Her professional accomplishments and accolades are numerous, serving on national committees and the boards of professional societies, speaking in venues throughout the country and around the world, and being recognized in “Best Doctors in America” multiple years. She continues to be active in clinical research and her expertise has been sought by various entities during the SARS 1, H1N1, and COVID-19 pandemics. She is also the author of more than 100 scientific articles and reviews.

The Pattersons raised two sons of whom they are very proud and Jan recalls that the days each of them accepted Christ as their personal savior and followed him in baptism were among the happiest days of her life. Their older son is an attorney, working to make life better for others. They lost their younger son in 2012. He was caring and intelligent with a wonderful laugh and love for his friends. Their faith, family, friends, and meaningful work pulled them through the early days of mourning. Faith and work continue to be important in their grief journey.

In recent years, Dr. Patterson has come to recognize the importance of integrative modalities and has had formal training in integrative medicine. After decades of experience in traditional medicine, she realizes the important roles of both traditional medicine and integrative modalities such as breath work, essential oils, and acupuncture in health and wellness as they can be integrated into conventional therapies.

Dr. Patterson is passionate about freely sharing what has helped her. She openly shares her knowledge and experiences involving health and wellness, grief, and faith.

In recognition of Dr. Jan Patterson’s remarkable achievements in the field of medicine, and in deep admiration of her exemplary Christian influence, Hardin-Simmons University is proud to induct her into the Hardin-Simmons University Hall of Leaders.