Shuttered South Dallas Hospital, Long Ago a Haven for Black Doctors, to Get $700,000 Makeover

On an untended lot on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, surrounded by few buildings and sparse traffic, sits a shuttered Dallas hospital that once paved the way for generations of black doctors and nurtured a community’s health care needs.Only remnants of its historic past are visible to passers-by today.Signs painted on the side and rear of the building’s exterior mark where a clinic and space for oxygen tanks used to be. A mural across the front depicts a nurse in uniform tending to a patient.It’s a building that once housed one of Dallas’ few black-owned and operated hospitals. And it will soon get a face-lift thanks to an entrepreneurial vision and more than $500,000 in investor funding. Within the next year, the former Forest Avenue Hospital, which closed in 1984, will be revived by Dr. Michelle Morgan, who purchased it for about $200,000 in 2016.She’s on a mission to reopen the two-story structure at 2516 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in South Dallas as a community wellness center that offers a range of specialty medical services.“It’s not just about business. This is home to me,” Morgan said. The redevelopment of the 18,000-square-foot former hospital is personal for her, an African- American woman who’s frustrated that the South Dallas community where she grew up has become a “medical desert.”That’s a term Morgan uses to describe the severe shortage of physicians practicing in the neighborhood, which is also burdened with the county’s highest rates of chronic disease.  Continue reading...

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