Parkland Health system, in partnership with DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas (DHA), launched 2 community hubs in Dallas earlier this month that provide various on-site, in-person services for public housing residents.
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The hubs are located at Park Manor and Buckeye Commons. Residents can receive health screenings, virtual medical visits, community resources, and financial assistance for healthcare in close proximity to where they live.
“Parkland’s partnership with DHA through the Care & Coverage program helps address health disparities and brings important services to the people that need it the most,” said Grace Matthew, Innovation Programs Specialist at Parkland Health.
“Transportation is a large barrier for low-income individuals that we serve. Being on-site at our community hubs removes a huge barrier for residents. Ultimately, we want to make sure our communities are well taken care of. DHA has a longstanding footprint in Dallas County, and we are proud to partner with a trusted organization that helps us expand our footprint.”
During a panel on the role of Medicaid in SDOH financing at the 2022 North Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference last month, Stephen Palmer, Managing Principal for Health Management Associates’ Austin office, spoke to the importance for health systems in North Texas and Medicaid to address the non-medical factors that impact health, like transportation and housing.
“Because if the issue is not being able to get to a grocery store, to 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. Being able to identify those and working with community-based organizations to try to bridge some of those gaps can be another, more population-level intervention to address [SDOH].”
Panel members cited housing as the social determinant that potentially has the most 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 Dallas County Health and Human Services in 2019 that determined the areas and populations that experience the most significant health disparities. The assessment found a large number of county residents were uninsured and health literacy to be lacking in the community.
In response, Parkland has prioritized health equity by expanding access through strategic partnerships with community-based organizations like DHA.
DHA operates 5,000 housing units across 31 properties and manages the Housing Choice Voucher program in North Texas. As the tenth largest public housing authority in the country, the agency provides affordable housing opportunities to more than 55,000 people in the region.
“We are excited for our continued partnership with Parkland Health as we address the needs of our residents,” said DHA President and CEO, Troy Broussard. “These community health hubs at Park Manor and Buckeye provide pathways for our residents to enhance 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 to create positive change through collaborations with valued partners like Parkland Health.”
Parkland’s financial assistance program will promote health ownership among eligible housing applicants and work with them to improve their physical, mental, and financial well-being.