NTFB’s First Hope for Tomorrow Grant Supports the Opening of Jewish Family Services’ Northpoint Health Center

The new clinic will offer health care in a neighborhood where nearly 800,000 residents lack a medical provider.

Neighbors can now access medical care from Jewish Family Services’ Northpoint Health Center, which opened earlier this month thanks to the support of a North Texas Food Bank Hope for Tomorrow Grant.

A 5,500-square-foot facility with 10 exam rooms and space for behavioral health and counseling, Northpoint Health Center will help fill a critical need for health care in the 75243 zip code where JFS research shows around 793,007 low-income residents lack a medical provider. Instead, many rely on hospital emergency rooms or simply go without care.

“We have been working toward this moment for four years,” said Deizel Sarte, COO at JFS. “The families we serve at JFS are disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to health care, and most go without taking care of their medical needs, which only worsens many treatable conditions over time.”

NTFB Hope for Tomorrow grants support new or growing wraparound services that address the underlying barriers to food security, like access to medical care. Six of these grants were awarded during the program’s pilot year in FY 2023, with JFS’ grant being the first.

Julie Liberman, Dr. Heather Esquivel, Deizel Sarte, Cathy Barker, Steve Brown and Eric Goldberg celebrate the opening of its Northpoint Health Center

At Northpoint Health Center, primary care providers will offer annual physicals for adults and children plus cancer screenings, routine men’s and women’s health exams, sick visits, behavioral health, chronic disease management, counseling and more. Those accessing health care will also be able to utilize JFS’ other services, including its food pantry.

NTFB’s grant is helping to support the first year of operations, and JFS is pursuing status as a Federally Qualified Health Center, which would mean the center could see Medicaid and Medicare patients while also receiving funding to care for patients regardless of ability to pay.

JFS CEO Cathy Barker said that designation will allow the clinic to become self-sustaining within three years. She thanked Sarte as well as Les and DJ Weisbrod, donors and longtime supporters, for their dedication to the creation of a clinic.

“From our research and supporting our community through a pandemic, we knew that less than 5 percent of those who needed access to healthcare (Medicaid, Medicare, uninsured and underinsured) had a medical home and that 86 percent of clients we surveyed indicated they would use these services if JFS offered them,” she said.

JFS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Heather Esquivel with NTFB Vice President of Community Impact Anne Readhimer and Grant Program Manager Tasneem Rajan

JFS of Greater Dallas is the first Jewish social service agency to open a medical clinic, and they’re hopeful that it can act as a model for expanding these services elsewhere in the U.S.

Like the NTFB’s strategy of providing food for today and hope for tomorrow, JFS’ mission is to provide accessible whole-person care that leads to self-sufficiency.  

The clinic is located about 5 miles from JFS’ main location, where it served 16,500 individuals last year. By 2028, JFS expects to serve 55,000 neighbors across its services, including through the Northpoint Health Center.

Kathleen Petty is communications manager for the North Texas Food Bank.