New Clinic in Oak Cliff Addresses Health Care Disparities

NBC Universal, Inc.

A new clinic in Oak Cliff aims to close the gap in health care disparities.

It’s not a large clinic. It has just two exam rooms and a single health care provider. But since the HHM Health clinic opened at the corner of East Jefferson Blvd and Eight Street in Oak Cliff, they’ve made an impact.

April Meras is a Nurse Practitioner for HHM Health. When the facility opened, she said it just made sense to be there.

“It feels really good to be back home serving the population and community I grew up in,” Meras said. “It means a lot to me. I was born and raised in Oak Cliff. I graduated from High School right across the highway.”

The clinic is near the bus line, making it convenient for people without reliable transportation. And health care is offered with patients’ income in mind.

According to census data, roughly 18% of residents in the city of Dallas live in poverty. HHM Health tells NBC 5 most patients who visit the new clinic live below the poverty line. That’s where income base payments can make a difference.

One mother brought in her young son Wednesday afternoon. She said it was just a nine-minute drive from her house, and she qualified for the income-based program.

Meras said the goal is straightforward – to provide quality care wherever there’s a need.

“My vision is to outgrow this space. To have so many patients that we have to open up another location right down the street,” she said. “We don’t want to turn anyone away. We want to be able to offer services to everyone that needs health care needs.”

Census data also shows nearly 26% of Dallas residents under age 65 do not have health insurance. This is well above the national average. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11% of the U.S. population under age 65 is uninsured.

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