While the pandemic is surging in the news, it’s not the only health issue facing North Texans. The daunting differences of healthcare services among the area’s ZIP codes is far more than troubling.
According to Parkland Health and Hospital System’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), “disparities in access to medical care are contributing to a nearly 25-year gap between ZIP codes with the highest and lowest life expectancies.”
The report goes on to “further indicate there is also a geographic divide, with our neighbors in southern Dallas County being underserved by existing healthcare services needed to get healthy and stay healthy.”
Due to this lack of services, people go to Parkland’s emergency department for “basic primary care, specialized care to manage their diabetes and associated complications and require life-saving cancer treatment at later stages.”
As Parkland Senior VP of Population Health Christina Mintner explained, “Today in Dallas County your ZIP code is a better predictor of health than your genetic code. We believe that where you live should not define how long and how well you live.”
To address this healthcare desert, Parkland is in the final stages of building RedBird Health Center, a new 40,000-square foot health center at the 94-acre Reimagine RedBird that is being developed by Peter Brodsky.
The facility’s services will include “adult and geriatric primary care, specialty care for women, behavioral health, breast cancer screenings, a pharmacy, social work, physical medicine and rehabilitation and other services targeted to the specific health needs of the residents in the Red Bird area.”
If projections prove true, the RedBird Health Center will provide 18,000 preventive and primary care visits annually, as well as 23,000 women’s specialty health visits each year for those living in south Dallas County.
To help this expansion of healthcare services to south Dallas residents, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has just awarded a $1M grant.
According to Bank of American Dallas President Jennifer Chandler, “We understand the persisting challenges many areas of our city face in accessing quality healthcare, including southern Dallas County, and we are honored to play a part in this project and support Parkland’s mission to serve the most vulnerable in our community.”
Joining Bank of America in supporting the new healthcare center are $100,000+ donors Amazon, Anonymous and The Pollock Foundation.
In commenting about the generosity of the donors, Parkland Foundation President Michael A. Horne said, “The new RedBird Health Center will serve as a beacon of hope for our neighbors in southern Dallas County. Donor support is critical to helping Parkland provide comprehensive health services close to home. Thank you, Bank of America, for standing for Parkland and providing an opportunity for all residents to live healthy, active lives.”
If you’re one of the fortunate people who have easy access to health services, consider joining the effort to help your neighbors who aren’t as fortunate.
* Graphic provided by Parkland Foundation