Parkland Health system, in partnership with DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas (DHA), launched 2 community centers in Dallas earlier this month that provide a variety of on-site services to public housing residents.
The centers are located at Park Manor and Buckeye Commons. Residents can get health screenings, virtual medical visits, community resources and financial assistance for health care close to where they live.
“Parkland’s partnership with DHA through Care and coverage program helps close health care disparities and provides critical services to the people who need them most,” said Grace Mathew, innovation program specialist at Parkland Health.
“Transportation is a big barrier for the low-income people we serve. Being on-site in our community centers removes a huge barrier for residents. Ultimately, we want to make sure our communities are well taken care of. DHA has a long-standing footprint in Dallas County, and we are proud to partner with a trusted organization that is helping us expand our footprint.”
During a panel at the role of Medicaid in funding SDOH at 2022 North Texas Health Reform Conference last month, Stephen Palmer, managing director of the Austin office of Health Management Associates, spoke about the importance for North Texas health systems and Medicaid to address non-medical factors that affect health, such as transportation and housing.
“Because if the problem is that you can’t get to a grocery store, buy the food, or even use the food stamps, that’s a problem,” Palmer said. “We definitely have food deserts where there are neighborhoods without access to healthy food, like fresh produce. The ability to identify these and work with community-based organizations to try to address some of these gaps may be another population-level intervention to address [SDOH].”
Panel members identified housing as the social determinant that potentially has the greatest impact on health, but remains difficult to address due to the high costs associated with some of the potential solutions.
Parkland Health concluded a Community Health Needs Assessment with the Dallas County Office of Health and Human Services in 2019, which identified the areas and populations experiencing the most significant health disparities. The assessment found that a large number of county residents are uninsured and that the community lacks health literacy.
In response, Parkland prioritizes health equity by expanding access through strategic partnerships with community-based organizations such as DHA.
DHA manages 5,000 housing units at 31 properties and manages the North Texas Housing Choice Voucher Program. As the nation’s tenth largest public housing authority, the agency provides affordable housing opportunities to more than 55,000 people in the region.
“We are excited about our continued partnership with Parkland Health as we address the needs of our residents,” said DHA President and CEO Troy Broussard. “These community health centers in Park Manor and Buckeye provide avenues for our residents to improve their quality of life through vital health services. DHA is a mission-driven organization that believes our communities are stronger when everyone has a chance to thrive. We are eager to continue our vision of creating positive change by collaborating with valued partners like Parkland Health.”
The Parkland Financial Assistance Program will promote health ownership among eligible housing applicants and work with them to improve their physical, mental and financial well-being.