Does your kid need a doctor? A new option is coming to the west side of Fort Worth

Artist rendering of a pediatric care center under construction near the thriving Walsh neighborhood in far west Fort Worth.
Artist rendering of a pediatric care center under construction near the thriving Walsh neighborhood in far west Fort Worth.

Here’s another reason for families with young children to move into the growing Walsh area of far west Fort Worth.

The area, which bills itself as “the next great neighborhood of Fort Worth,” soon will have a pediatric care center of its own.

The Walsh community, an area that not long ago was vacant prairie, has been chosen as the site for a new Cook Children’s Health Care System pediatric care facility.

The facility will offer urgent care, primary care and specialty services related to sports and orthopedics. That means parents of young children will be able to visit the facility for anything from vaccinations to wellness and newborn appointments, broken bones, influenza and many other medical needs.

The pediatric care center is expected to open in fall 2019. It is under construction on eight acres just south of Interstate 30 and accessible by Walsh Ranch Parkway.

“A lot of the folks in that area already come to our downtown area, and we wanted to get the services closer to that population,” said Spencer Seals, Cook Children’s vice president of real estate.

Cook Children’s, which operates a regionally known medical center and emergency room in Fort Worth’s medical district and also runs dozens of neighborhood medical facilities across North Texas, is scheduled to formally announce the new pediatric care center on Wednesday.

The Walsh development is being built on 7,200 acres of once-uninhabited, pristine prairie near the merge of Interstates 30 and 20. The area, which is within the Aledo school district, is expected to eventually be home to 50,000 people living in 15,000 homes. Several hundred home buyers already call Walsh home.

“The new Cook Children’s facility going in near the Walsh development will be able to flex and expand as that region of Fort Worth continues to grow,” Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s, said in an email.

The pediatric care facility will be built in phases. The first phase includes construction of a two-story, 40,000 square foot building. Primary and urgent care will be on the first floor, officials said, and orthopedic and specialty care will be on the second floor.

Initially, about 50 people will work at the pediatric care center.

Collectively, the other Cook Children’s network’s urgent care centers serve up to 400 patients a day.

The Cook Children’s Health Care System commissioned an independent research study to determine what steps to take to deal with those high patient volumes. The study concluded that adding a new location in far west Fort Worth would make health care more convenient for current residents of Tarrant and Parker counties, and position Cook Children’s to meet future needs as the area grows.

Cook Children’s Health Care System has a core audience of young patients in Tarrant, Denton, Hood, Johnson and Parker counties, but also sees patients from across Texas and many other states. The health care system also plans to expand its reach by offering “telemedicine” services so patients can be seen by their physician via a private video conferencing system.

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Aerial photographer of the fledgling Walsh neighborhood in far west Fort Worth. Paul Moseley

The Walsh site is a master-planned residential community being built on 7,200 acres of the area’s famous Walsh Ranch. It is served by the Aledo school district, which has already opened an elementary school for Walsh’s charter residents.

Care will be taken to incorporate the Cook Children’s pediatric care facility into its surroundings. HKS is the lead architecture and design group, and Linbeck Fort Worth office is general contractor.

Dallas Cowboys players and cheerleaders visit kids at the Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth like Haedyn Richardson, who is 9 years old and loves football.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796; @gdickson
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Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.