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JFS Northpoint Health Center Ribbon cutting: Dr. Michael Landgarten, Steve Brown, Cathy Barker, Eric Goldberg, Deizel Sarte, Julie Liberman, Dr. Heather Esquivel

 

Community and faith leaders gathered for a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony, celebrating a long-awaited project that will enable JFS to offer whole-person care to those in need

Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas (JFS) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 29 for its new JFS Northpoint Health Center, meeting a critical need for health care for low-income residents in North Texas. Located at 12606 Greenville Ave., Dallas, 75243, approximately five miles from JFS’ offices, the new health center welcomes anyone in need.

“We have been working toward this moment for four years,” shared Deizel Sarte, COO, JFS. “The families we serve at JFS are disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to healthcare, and most go without taking care of their medical needs, which only worsens many treatable conditions over time. This was the driving force on the journey to opening this clinic and adding primary care services to our comprehensive care.”

The 5,500-square-foot facility will have ten examination rooms along with dedicated spaces for behavioral health and counseling. Primary care providers will offer adult and pediatric annual physicals, cancer screenings, routine women’s and men’s health exams, sick visits, behavioral health, chronic disease management, and other medical services. JFS was the first recipient of the North Texas Food Bank Hope for Tomorrow Grant, which was directed toward the opening of this health center. The new health center will not only meet immediate medical needs, but it will also provide preventative care. JFS is pursuing status as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

Texas has the highest rate of residents without healthcare coverage – at 16.6% according to the Census Bureau’s American Communities Survey published in September 2023. This first clinic location was selected based on significant JFS research, which suggests approximately 793,007 low-income residents in the JFS service area lack a medical provider, and many rely on hospital emergency rooms or go without care.

Board Chair Eric Goldberg welcomed the more than 40 attendees at the grand opening. “This new health center is a huge accomplishment for the JFS team and an incredible resource for the Greater Dallas community,” said Goldberg. “Adding medical services to the many offerings currently provided by JFS will ensure our clients have wraparound care.”

Anyone coming to the new Northpoint Health Center will have access to all JFS services, which include a robust mental health component, a food pantry, and numerous other auxiliary services. JFS' mission is to provide effective and accessible whole-person care, promoting self-sufficiency and well-being.

Goldberg thanked the JFS Board of Directors for going on an 18-month journey to learn, understand, and evaluate the idea of adding medical services, and recognized JFS CEO Cathy Barker for her vision and commitment which have moved JFS forward in unimaginable ways.

JFS CEO Cathy Barker credited COO Deizel Sarte for her wisdom and forethought which moved the team forward in this endeavor. She also thanked Les and DJ Weisbrod, special donors and longtime supporters who saw the potential in an idea and provided funding to make the concept possible.

“From our research and supporting our community through a pandemic, we knew that less than 5% of those who needed access to healthcare (Medicaid, Medicare, uninsured and underinsured) had a medical home and that 86% of clients we surveyed indicated they would use these services if JFS offered them,” stated Barker. “Finally, we knew this model would enable JFS to become financially self-sustainable within three years of opening this clinic.”

Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas is the first Jewish social service agency to provide medical services to its clients using this model for expanding services and improving financial sustainability that could be replicated in many of the 150 Jewish nonprofit human service agencies in the United States.

Due to the mission to provide a “patient-centered” approach to care, JFS selected Dr. Heather Esquivel as its chief medical officer and the first primary care provider at the JFS Northpoint Health Center. With more than 14 years in community health, Dr. Esquivel is a board-certified family medicine physician whose career includes providing high-quality healthcare to underserved communities including preventive medicine, chronic disease management, women’s health, and adolescent medicine. Dr. Esquivel received her medical degree through Brown University’s program in liberal medical education.

Throughout her career, Dr. Esquivel has served as both a treating physician and chief medical officer at Federally Qualified Health Centers around the country. She is also bilingual in English and Spanish. She embodies a patient-centered philosophy and understands all elements in her patients’ lives that contribute to their health.

“Over the years as I have worked in community health centers like this one, there were many times I wished I had the ability to provide a warm handoff for my patients to services like the JFS food pantry, career and financial coaching, and a robust roster of behavioral health providers,” said Dr. Esquivel. “When a patient comes in for medical treatment, there are often other factors impacting their health. The fact that JFS provides services in all these areas – physical, emotional, nutritional, and financial – offers a continuity of care for our patients and their families.”

Also attending the ribbon-cutting were community and faith leaders, including Texas Senator Nathan Johnson; Anne Readhimer, vice president of community impact, North Texas Food Bank; Andrew Krause, representative from the office of Congressman Colin Allred; Ali Alirezaieyan, representative from the office of Councilwoman Jaynie Schultz; Igor Alterman, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas; Dr. John Burruss, CEO, Metrocare Services; Leonor Marquez, CEO, Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic; and Abbie Kauffman, president & CEO, Network of Community Ministries.

The agency’s wraparound services impacted over 16,500 lives last year. By 2028, JFS expects to serve approximately 55,000 individuals across all agency services. The Northpoint Health Center is open to anyone who calls to schedule an appointment. For more information about the Northpoint Community Health Center, visit www.jfsdallas.org/healthcenter.

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Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas is a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive health services that address physical, emotional, nutritional, and financial well-being. Their mission is to provide effective and accessible whole-person care that promotes lifelong self-sufficiency and well-being for the Greater Dallas community. JFS Dallas offers programs to the community such as primary medical care, individual age-appropriate counseling and group support, career and financial coaching, a food pantry, support for older adults, and a Clubhouse for adults with mental illness. Since 1950, they have served anyone, regardless of age, race, religion, or ability to pay. The agency’s services impacted over 16,500 lives last year. Jfsdallas.org

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