New UT Southwestern Clinic to Assist Underserved Community

The Medical Center at Redbird offers primary care and more

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UT Southwestern has opened a new academic medical center serving the southern Dallas County region.

Once the Sears building along Camp Wisdom Road in Dallas, the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Redbird offers services including primary care, mammography and advanced imaging, heart and cancer care, infusion therapy for the treatment of cancer, laboratory services and pharmacy services.

Dr. Marc Nivet, Executive Vice-President of Institutional Advancement at UT Southwestern, said the idea to turn the building into a medical center came from other cities that have made similar transformations.

“We had known about the same thing happening in Mississippi, Nashville. So, we thought, why not here in Dallas?” Dr. Nivet said. “Malls across this country have been struggling and this mall here at Redbird, which is a historic mall in Dallas and people love this mall. People from the 70s, 80s, 90s have been coming here for years, but the mall just fell into disrepair.”

Nivet added that the area of southern Dallas County has traditionally been underserved.

“This area has a high population of African-Americans and Hispanics. Many of the individuals who live here have been coming to UT Southwestern. They have to travel down to the medical district,” he said. “Evidence shows us that having doctors who look like you, who speak your language improve your opportunity for greater health. That’s why it was important for us to not to just come here and repeat what we’ve done at other places, but to really listen to the community.”

Lenora Hearst of Lancaster has been searching for a new primary care doctor. She currently travels about 40 minutes to see her doctor.

“Getting stuck in that traffic, having to go early in the morning or late in the evening…it’s not worth it for me,” Hearst.

Keith Vinson, Vice-President of Operations at the Moorland Family YMCA in Dallas, said he hopes the new facility will offer health services to those who need them but may face barriers like transportation.

“For me, it’s no problem. I can go 30-40 minutes across. That’s just an average, but when you’re talking about our seniors…that’s a long way for them. Those who take public transportation, that 40 to 50 minutes can be even longer than that,” Vinson said. I’ve been in the community for the past 13 years. There’s a clear divide. If you live in Dallas, you know. There’s southside, and there’s northside. For UT Southwestern to make this huge commitment to come to the southside, it says a whole lot.”

Residents like Hearst said the new facility at Redbird is what the community needs to explore healthy living.

“I made a promise to my mother in 2010 that she would not have to bury another child. That’s how I got on to my health kick,” she said.

Neurology and culinary medicine services are expected at the facility soon.

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