What are the healthcare needs in Tarrant County?
About 50 guests braved the North Texas cold as U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, Councilman Carlos Flores and Mayor Betsy Price cut the ribbon to open the new Northside Community Health Center on Monday evening.
“I know how important healthcare is to families,” Veasey said. “You hear it over and over again that they’re concerned about prescriptions drugs and there are a lot of people in the community who go without seeing a doctor or seeing a nurse practitioner because they don’t have insurance or they don’t feel that it’s affordable.”
The Northside location is one of three centers run by the North Texas Area Community Health Centers (NTACHC), a nonprofit that was founded in 2002 to meet the needs of the medically under-served areas and populations.
The organization was founded by concerned residents, faith-based groups and health and social services providers to better serve the north side of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
The original location on N. Main Street was only 12,000 square feet while the new center on Beverly Hills Drive is 33,000 square feet and can accommodate more patients.
The other two health centers are in Southeast Fort Worth and Arlington.
All three are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and receive partial funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). All of the centers can serve patients with or without insurance and patients who are undocumented.
According to NTACHC’s needs assessment, parts of Fort Worth and Arlington have shortages of healthcare professionals. There is a specific shortage of 110 primary care physicians and 30 OB-GYNs.
The population of the areas that the centers serve exceeds one million. The total number of patients served is close to 14,000.
Both Veasey and Granger vowed to continue to improve healthcare in Fort Worth and Tarrant County when they return to Congress.
“Healthcare and education are two things that are non-partisan issues,” Granger said. “The community will be better because the health center is here.”