Jubilee Park and Community Center has long been a staple in the Southeast Dallas community between Fair Park and Interstate 30.
Within its walls, residents can find resources regarding education, housing and employment opportunities to break the multigenerational cycle of poverty.
And soon, they will also be able to get basic medical, dental and mental services at the site.
Community Center Partners with Parkland Hospital to Build Clinic on Campus in Southeast Dallas to Provide Holistic Health Care to the Community
Construction on the site began in late May and Jubilee Park estimates the clinic will be open by June 2022.
The two-story building on Bank Street will serve community members of all age groups. General medical and dental care will be provided by Parkland Hospital, while mental health services will be provided by the Jewish Family Service. Jubilee Park will also sponsor preventive health and wellness programs. Approximately 40% of the clinic’s staff will be members of the community it serves.
Jubilee Clinic’s health and wellness programs and mental health services will be free. For general medical and dental services, Parkland has financial advisers who can determine whether families are eligible for state programs or grants. the Parkland Financial Aid The program is also available to support people through a sliding scale based on financial need.
“We don’t want them to feel like ‘I have no resources so I don’t want to go to the clinic’,” said James Perez, clinic vice president of operations. “We will do our part by screening them, identifying the opportunities available to them and working with them to make sure they receive the health care that is important to them. ”
Since the late 1980s, Parkland has made it a goal to meet the health care needs in medically underserved areas by bringing health care to the community and increasing accessibility through its Health Initiative of population. This includes Community-based primary care clinics, Youth and family centers, and the HOUSES program.
In South Dallas, this need has been addressed with four clinics and four youth and family centers. Along with the Jubilee Clinic, Parkland plans to open the Red Bird Clinic in September 2021 and a rapid clinic in Bonton in late 2022 or early 2023.
Christina Mintner, senior vice president of population health, said Parkland relies heavily on the Community Health Needs Assessment, a study she conducts every three years, to decide where clinics should be. located.
“When you look at our community health needs assessment, you see that there were huge gaps in South Dallas, and it was necessary for us to be there, providing care and working with it. the community to really be part of the community, ”Mintner said.
Health care disparities are evident in this area of Dallas. Jubilee’s target service area has a significantly lower life expectancy than other parts of the city, and higher rates of illness and death.
Parkland typically partners with local organizations, such as Jubilee Park, to make clinics a reality.
“It’s no use for Parkland or the community to come here and decide what services or where we should set up a clinic,” Mintner said. “We really need to fit in and be part of the community and listen to the community’s feedback on the services they need. “
The main goal of the Jubilee Clinic is to remove barriers for those seeking health care.
“Our biggest goal is to provide access,” said Perez. “Just having a clinical team there will hopefully ensure that the people who live in this radius will feel comfortable coming to us and establishing what we call a medical home for patients. . “
In a survey conducted by the University of Texas at Arlington, 55% of people surveyed in the Fleetwood area did not make it to clinics or hospital due to lack of transportation and 45% were not there aisles due to lack of insurance.
Alejandra Saldana, Health and Wellness Manager at Jubilee Park, experienced it. Saldana remembers going to clinics and being told that the next available appointment for her was months away.
She often stood in line outside clinics early in the morning in the hope that there was room for her. Saldana assumed that going to the doctor was a daily effort for everyone.
“Growing up in the neighborhood, I knew everyone was doing the same thing and I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal until I started working after college,” said Saldana. “It’s always been one of those things where we want people to understand there’s an easier way.”
Saldana is leading preventive health programs at the Jubilee Clinic, which will offer cooking classes, nutritional counseling, and exercise classes.
When it comes to mental health in Southeast Dallas, the resources are even fewer. Jubilee Park currently offers mental health resources through two counselors, Nancy Hall and Gustavo Barcenas, with the Jewish Family Service.
“Even if you search for mental health services on Google in this area, you will hardly see any on this side of Dallas,” Barcenas said. “It’s one of our goals, to reduce disparities in mental health. “
The new clinic will have a playroom for play therapy, confidential waiting rooms and different sized rooms for counseling. The new space may also open up the possibility for more counselors to meet the high demand and waiting list for counseling.
“I think it’s exciting the possibility of expanding our services,” said Barcenas. “We have a high demand and unfortunately sometimes our clients have to wait six months or even more than six months to see one of us. It’s just the two of us.
With the clinic, Jubilee hopes to meet many needs, but her main goals are to increase life expectancy, reduce the rate of diabetes and obesity in children, and decrease the number of emergency room visits.
Jubilee Park President and CEO Marissa Castro Mikoy said the financial burden and time-consuming nature of doctor visits results in poorer overall health for people in the area. .
“From my perspective, everyone deserves access to health care – quality health care,” said Castro Mikoy. “There are a lot of challenges that people face in underserved communities when trying to access them. “
This is the void that the Jubilee clinic hopes to fill.
“The work that Alejandra leads in partnership with JFS is really to help preventative aspects so that neighbors who come with an illness or ailment are seen up front,” said Castro Mikoy. “Not when it’s too late and they have to go to the emergency room.”
Over the years, Jubilee Park has established itself as a place the community can count on. This trust is what prompted organizations, including Parkland Hospital, to partner with them.
“We know our community,” said Saldana. “We have this relationship with members of our community. They feel comfortable asking us, they feel comfortable approaching us. Even like our former gourmet clients, people feel comfortable coming to us because they know we want the best for them.
Jubilee Park is in the middle of a fundraiser for this clinic and its services. Currently, they have 80% of their goal of $ 7.25 million.