Several Dallas ministers have agreed to host health clinics in their churches to help underserved communities in southern Dallas County.
Leaders of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance signed a deal Monday with a local nonprofit, Health Momentum, that will set up the pilot clinics run by Our Home Test and At Your Door Labs.
Lorna Lizotte, founder and managing director of Health Momentum, said the lack of accessible health clinics has created disparaging inequality in Dallas County, citing lower household incomes and lower life expectancy in the southern sector.
“The IMA church-based clinics will provide access to affordable, comprehensive, holistic care that can positively impact health outcomes for the community,” she said.
Rev. David E. Wilson, CEO and president of the IMA and pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church in Dallas, said churches are answering the call to help through an innovative partnership.
“Given how impactful the coronavirus has been across the globe, and especially across low-income communities of color, this wellness challenge is a clear mandate that leadership must connect resources to improve health outcomes for the least well among us,” he said.
Many churches have had COVID-19 testing and vaccines during the pandemic, and the goal is for the clinics to offer additional services.
Churches will also benefit from the income generated by renting out space.
“This will turn heads when we’re successful, and we will be successful,” Lizotte said, according to KDFW-TV (Channel 4). “This will turn heads in the nation. This will be a project that everyone will look at.”
The goal is to have the first clinic open at a Dallas church by December, the TV station reported.
Dallas City Council member Adam McGough of District 10 also attended the meeting Monday and pledged to try to secure funding for the church alliance to expand its reach.
The group will be responsible for “amplifying the initiative and mobilizing their vast network of religious officials and constituents who are committed to equitable, safe, and effective health care,” he said.
Parkland Hospital is also focusing on the health care needs of people in southern Dallas, opening a new clinic this month at the Red Bird mall site.
The 40,000-square-foot RedBird clinic will offer primary care, family medicine, mammography and simple radiology. It joins three others in the region: Bluitt-Flowers, Oak West and Southeast Dallas.
This story, originally published in Texas Metro News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and TMN. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.