Baylor Health Care System Turns to South Dallas Residents for Ideas on Reforming Health Care

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 General News
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DALLAS, Dec. 23 Residents of South Dallas' Frazier neighborhood enjoyed food, fun and fellowship at a holiday party hosted by Baylor Health Care System on Dec. 18. But amid the holiday cheer, they also got a chance to voice their opinions on how to change health care in America.


As part of President-elect Barack Obama's recent grass-roots initiative to find ways to reform health care, the event was held at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center, the future site of Baylor's new diabetes clinic -- the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center. Civic leaders including Texas State Representative Terri Hodge and Dallas City Council Member Carolyn Davis along with Baylor executives including President and CEO Joel Allison mingled with residents of the community not only to celebrate the center's future, but to gather ideas on health care reform which are being submitted to the Obama transition team.

"This idea stemmed from President-elect Obama's call to Americans to talk about the state of health care in our country in hopes that solutions can be found," said Joel Allison, president and CEO of Baylor Health Care System. "Baylor is honored to participate in this national discussion. In order for change to happen, we must go straight to the source and that's the people we serve."

Up to 30 percent of patients admitted to Baylor hospitals from North Texas have diabetes and South Dallas residents have a 17 percent higher hospitalization rate for the disease than any other North Texas region.

Baylor recently announced its plans for a $15 million, three-year renovation of the existing Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center where it will open what will be known as the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center. The institute will offer an on-site physician and nurse practitioner in addition to nutrition and cooking classes and a diabetes drug-distribution system.

The Health and Wellness Institute is the cornerstone of Baylor's Southern Sector Health Initiative created in 2006 to address that particular region's health care needs relative to diabetes.

Baylor Health Care System, a not-for-profit health care provider based in North Texas, is a growing network of hospitals, primary care and specialty care centers, rehabilitation clinics, senior health centers, and affiliated ambulatory surgery centers. An employer of more than 16,000 people, Baylor ranks as one of the largest private-sector employers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing, Baylor exists to serve all people through exemplary health care, education, research and community service. For fiscal year 2007, Baylor Health Care System will report $390 million in community benefits to the Department of State Health Services.

SOURCE Baylor Health Care System

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