• Planned health clinic excites South Dallas neighborhood

    Published at dallasnews.com: 01 May 2022 11:11 PM

    The new South Dallas clinic being built for Parkland Memorial Hospital represents more than an improvement in health care for one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

    As a crowd of nearly 200 people assembled Thursday for the clinic’s ceremonial groundbreaking, the excitement level was almost palpable for the cluster of nearby residents.

    “I haven’t seen anything so big in this neighborhood for 50 years,” said Willie Mae Coleman, 79. “It’s a big day for all of us. I’m so excited.”

    Until five years ago, the 7-acre site at Scyene Road and Hatcher Street was home to a “hot-sheet” motel, illegal nightclub and other illicit activities that plagued the community for decades.

    “They killed one of my church members in that nasty old motel,” recalled Coleman, president of the surrounding Bertrand Neighborhood Association. She and others fought to get the businesses closed and finally torn down in 2009.

    Development of the $19.8 million clinic is a public-private partnership involving the city of Dallas and Frazier Revitalization, a community development organization that amassed the land for the project. A long list of local philanthropy groups also provided financial support, including the South Dallas/Fair Park Trust Fund.

    “This could not have happened without significant public and philanthropic support,” said Richard Knight, a former Dallas city manager and Frazier’s chairman.

    Frazier is hoping to develop a second phase of the project, called Hatcher Station Village, attracting a variety of neighborhood amenities. They might include a legal services office, pharmacy, dental clinic or workforce training site.

    Parkland will lease the 44,000-square-foot clinic when it’s completed in early 2015. It will replace the hospital’s outmoded Community Oriented Primary Care facility at 3320 Live Oak St. in East Dallas.

    Currently, the East Dallas clinic serves about 15,000 patients, many of whom live closer to the South Dallas clinic location, said Sharon Phillips, the Parkland executive who oversees Parkland’s 12 community clinics.

    Patients also could benefit from the new location being across Hatcher Street from a DART rail station on the Green Line. The new Parkland hospital, which also opens in 2015, is on the same rail line.

    “This is the first community clinic we’ll have on the DART line,” Phillips said.

    Although the project has not received final approval from Parkland’s board of managers, a lease agreement is expected to be signed in coming weeks. The Dallas City Council also is slated to finalize its involvement in the project later this month.

    “We worked long and hard for this,” City Council member Caroline Davis told the gathered crowd. “It has taken a lot of rolling up your sleeves and getting your feet dirty to make sure this project works.”

    See the original article at: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/best-southwest/headlines/20140501-planned-health-clinic-excites-south-dallas-neighborhood.ece

  • Baylor Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute to open in South Dallas

    The Dallas Morning News


    The diagnosis of diabetes is accelerating across the nation, most commonly afflicting African-Americans and Latinos.

    With those realities in mind, Baylor Health Care System is confronting the disease in a core spot — South Dallas.

    Hospital and city officials joined neighborhood leaders Tuesday morning at Juanita Craft Recreation Center for a ceremonial ground-breaking of what they hope will be a model for diabetes care.

    The center at 4500 Spring Ave. will become home next year to Baylor’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute — an initiative involving both treatment and prevention with a goal of improving lives and reducing health care costs.

    “Instead of treating the disease in our hospitals, we want to deal with it in the neighborhoods,” said Dr. Paul Convery, chief medical officer of the Baylor system.

    Rev. Henry Green Jr. attended Monday’s groundbreaking event. He presides over the red-brick Community Outreach Baptist Church, across the street from the recreation center. He knows diabetes well. The lanky 62-year-old was diagnosed seven years ago and is planning to work closely with the Baylor initiative.

    Even with health insurance, the preacher found it difficult to find a good diabetes education program near his home, he said.

    That won’t be the case with a center in the middle of south Dallas.

    “With this place here, I can see a lot of us not losing our legs, not losing our eyesight, not losing our lives because of diabetes,” he said. “I applaud Baylor for making a bold statement.”

    Placing a diabetes treatment center in the middle of a neighborhood means folks are more likely to come to get services, he said. “It fits into the neighborhood. It is the same old place with a new idea.”

    Through education, the preacher became the “poster child” for the diabetes education cause, he said. “I went from insulin to three types of medicine to two types of medicine,” he said. “And then to diet and exercise. I did all those kinds of things because I had access to education. Ninety percent of people don’t have access so they don’t have success.”

    The institute will offer a clinic staffed by doctors and other medical specialists, affordable medications, plus diabetes education ranging from nutrition and cooking classes to exercise programs.

    Exercise and the consumption of healthy foods can help prevent or manage diabetes, among the mostly costly and deadly chronic diseases.

    The Juanita Craft center will still offer its regular services and will be expanded for the institute. The city is contributing $2 million toward that work with Baylor paying $15 million for construction, equipping and staffing the institute for four years, Convery said.

    The institute will be open to all regardless of residency, insurance or income. “We won’t turn anyone away,” he said.

    South Dallas was selected because of its predominantly African-American population that is relatively poor, medically underserved and has limited access to healthy food, he said.

    “It was considered the least healthy area of Dallas County,” he said.

    Nationwide, 6 percent of the population was diagnosed with diabetes in 2006, up from about 3 percent in 1997, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. And in Texas, diabetes rates are highest among African-Americans (12.9 percent) and Latinos (12.3 percent) compared to Anglos (8.5 percent), according to the Texas Diabetes Council.