By Sriya Reddy
Reimagine Redbird, a project to develop the 46-year-old mall, is building a second medical district in southern Dallas with UT Southwestern being the latest health care institution to open a location there.
On Monday, the hospital will start taking patients at a new 153,000 square-foot facility at RedBird Mall, addressing the need for specialty care in the surrounding community.
It is the largest of the hospital’s six regional medical centers and will eventually have cancer care, internal medicine, and women’s diagnostics among other specialties. Neurology and culinary medicine will begin by the end of this year. The specialties were chosen through community input and research.
“We have worked with community leaders and had multiple focus groups to have conversations about the needs of the community, the desires of the community,” said Shawna Nesbitt, UTSW physician and hypertension expert. “They’ve been very helpful in developing a strategy for developing our clinic there and really strategically thinking about what are the best services for us to begin our care in the southern sector.”
The new medical center follows the opening of Parkland Hospital’s primary care clinic at the same location last September. Children’s Medical Center will bring pediatric care in 2024. All three organizations are working closely together to expand care in the underserved area.
Southern Dallas has a lower life expectancy than other parts of the city, according to Parkland’s 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment. It found that residents there have high rates of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.
“It’s really about health equity,” Nesbitt said. “We believe that health care matters and health care is important for all of us equally, and we want to be a part of the solution for some of the health disparities that we see.”
Reimagine Redbird is a $200 million redevelopment project to create a mixed-use center in southern Dallas that includes restaurants, retail, housing and office space.
But Peter Brodsky, developer of RedBird Mall, said that the new medical facilities also provide southern Dallas with something important that it needs.
“The whole thesis of RedBird is that southern Dallas desires, deserves and can afford high-quality amenities,” Brodsky said. “While it started off the definition of amenity was retail and restaurants, what we found over the last seven years is that there’s a very broad definition of amenity in terms of things that people desire, deserve and can afford. And that includes first-class medical care.”
UT Southwestern already has about 15,000 patients in the southern sector, and it is planning on expanding its reach through this regional medical center.
“I’m really proud of what we’re going to be delivering to the community, and I’m really proud of UT Southwestern for recognizing the injustice … and their extreme commitments to making sure that this building is equitable and the care that people will receive there is just as first-class as it is everywhere,” Brodsky said. “My hope is that this is really going to improve health outcomes for a lot of people in southern Dallas.”