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County Commissioners Hear Update on JPS Bond Program

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Tarrant County Commissioners heard a recommendation for a new JPS Health Network medical home to be built this year, the first of four medical homes included in the JPS Bond Program, an $800-million bond construction project to update JPS facilities.

A specific site has not yet been determined for the medical home, JPS President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Duncan, MD, told the Tarrant County Commissioners Court in a briefing on Jan. 11, 2022. That decision will involve the Commissioners as the process moves forward.

JPS is proposing to build a new medical home in the 76133 zip code to serve residents of Fort Worth’s Wedgwood neighborhood in Southwest Tarrant County.

“Many factors were weighted and analyzed, including the current population size, projected growth within communities, demand for healthcare within communities, life expectancy, barriers to health insurance,” Dr. Duncan said. Socioeconomic needs were also considered, including access to transportation, chronic disease prevalence, and the number of physicians currently present in the community, she said.

“The Wedgwood community showed the highest growth and highest need,” Dr. Duncan said. “It does have a high percentage of 65 and older population. And compared to other JPS service areas within the county and the State of Texas, it has a much lower life expectancy and a lower average household income.”

While specific services for the new clinic will be determined at a later date, Dr. Duncan said it will have a robust primary care and preventative care program, including a laboratory, X-ray services, a pharmacy and other services to address the socioeconomic needs in the community.

JPS Health Network currently operates 14 health centers and medical homes in Tarrant County under the medical home model, including eight in Fort Worth and six more in suburban locations. The goal is to cut health care costs, improve quality and improve patient satisfaction by making coordinated healthcare services more easily available for residents throughout the county.

A medical home is a care delivery model where patients receive comprehensive services to address their physical and behavioral health. Primary, preventive, wellness, acute and chronic care are all available in one central location. Medical home care is patient-centered and coordinated among a team of doctors, nurses, assistants, pharmacists, educators and other providers. Combining services encourages coordination of care among providers and engagement by patients, who no longer need to travel to multiple locations for diagnostics such as X-rays and lab tests.

JPS opened its most recent medical home, the Medical Home Northeast Tarrant facility in Euless, in October 2018.

Behavioral Health Services

Also among the first bond projects JPS is proposing to build is a new Psychiatric Emergency Center to address increased demand and expected future growth. The center will provide additional care spaces and services to patients and families in Tarrant County, and add new detoxification and substance abuse services.

“We have literally outgrown our current psychiatric emergency clinic,” Dr. Duncan said.

The new center would be more efficient and easier for patients to navigate. It will include 100 care spaces, with capacity for adults, adolescents, and patients undergoing detoxification.

Currently, psychiatric patients in crisis are treated on the tenth floor of the Patient Tower on the JPS Main Campus.


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