Juanita Kelly says she must travel from her home in Euless to Fort Worth for X-rays and other medical procedures — which she calls difficult because there is no public transportation between the two cities.
But relief is in sight for Kelly and others after JPS Health Network broke ground on Friday for its JPS Medical Home Northeast Tarrant, scheduled to open next summer.
Kelly, along with hospital and county officials, put on a hard hat and helped shovel dirt.
“With the new clinic, I won’t have to go far,” she said.
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Kelly, 52, said she has diabetes and has had knee surgery because of arthritis, and needs X-rays, lab work and medications. When the new JPS facility opens, she won’t have to travel to multiple places for healthcare.
The new JPS clinic, serving Hurst, Euless and Bedford, will provide primary care, women’s health, behavioral health, optometry, laboratory, radiology and a drive-through pharmacy under one roof.
It will be located at 3200 W. Euless Blvd., west of Texas 10 at Raider Drive.
The 35,000-square-foot facility has an estimated price tag of $15.6 million, which includes construction and equipment costs.
The facility will be the second of its kind to open in the JPS Health Network. The JPR Medical Home Southeast opened in Arlington in 2015.
The Euless location will replace the JPS Northeast Health Center in Bedford, which will close once the new facility is open.
The new medical home can’t come fast enough for Kathy Watts, practice manager at the JPS center.
Watts said that patients and employees deal with overcrowded conditions and that the new facility will alleviate that.
Now, patients waiting to pick up medications at the pharmacy must line up in hallways, and those waiting for dental appointments and eye exams must sit on the floor as there aren’t enough chairs.
“This facility is extraordinarily outdated,” she said. “We are bursting at the seams, [but] we are pretty grateful to have another place to go.”
The Hurst-Euless-Bedford corridor is seeing more baby boomers retiring and needing medical care. It is difficult for them to travel to other hospitals, Watts said.
JPS CEO Robert Earley said it would be an honor to bring the medical home to Northeast Tarrant County.
“With all of the talk of the Affordable Care Act and politics, providing access is the best way to reduce cost,” he said. “If we provide more access and get more people in a clinic setting, we are doing well.”