Waco Family Medicine officials, local elected officials and celebrities Chip and Joanna Gaines solemnly opened a $61 million central facility for nonprofit medical services on Thursday.
The new four-story building will replace the current facility at the same location in the 1600 block of Colcord Avenue and will allow the organization to increase patient capacity and physician training options, provide space for additional community services and to continue to innovate to address community health. care needs.
CEO Dr. Jackson Griggs told his audience that the new center will continue Waco Family Medicine’s goal of serving its community while providing residents of Waco and McLennan County with a way to help their neighbors.
“It’s divine workmanship,” Griggs said. “At bottom, we want to love and serve our neighbour.”
The federally licensed health center and its 15 clinics across the county provided medical, dental and behavioral health services to 61,394 people last year, most of whom are low-income or uninsured. Residents of the Brook Oaks neighborhood, where the medical center is located, have an annual median income of $26,000 and nearly 80 percent of the patients the organization serves live below the federal poverty level, Griggs said. Medicare and Medicaid patients provide the bulk of the center’s revenue.
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The morning inauguration featured remarks from Griggs, chair of the Waco Family Practice Board, Dr. Kristen Padilla; Dr. Mike Hardin Jr., president of the Waco Family Medicine Institute and former family medicine program director; Tom Stanton of the Waco Family Medicine Foundation; Waco Mayor Dillon Meek and McLennan County Judge Scott Felton. The Gaines, creators of the popular TV series ‘Fixer Upper’ and Magnolia, a massive business venture spanning retail stores, restaurants, real estate, a magazine and the Magnolia Network, added some celebrity spice .
Speakers told the crowd of more than 200 that the organization’s value to the community includes providing medical services to low-income residents; family physicians trained in its highly competitive residency program; its innovations in health care delivery and programs; its place in Waco’s history and its role in the county’s economic development; and its broad support.
The Gaineses added a personal touch, sharing how Waco Family Medicine treated some of Chip’s injuries early in his career when finances were tight and insurance limited. Joanna also mentioned Dr. Tim McCall’s years as a family medicine physician in Waco. McCall and his wife, Janice, are missionaries in Uganda, and an early episode of “Fixer Upper” had the Gaines renovating a house for them to stay in while in the United States.
Chip Gaines challenged the community to support the center and the work of Waco Family Medicine.
“It’s the perfect place to donate and invest. … We either show up or we don’t,” he said.
Griggs said the Gaineses are “game changers” for Waco and McLennan County, and that they share with Waco Family Medicine a vision that “hope and family can be a space for healing, a space of joy, a place of rest in this crazy world.”
The eight speakers donned white construction hats and used shovels in the four colors of the organization’s logo to turn topsoil into a box during a symbolic groundbreaking for the project, which was publicly announced in July of the last year.
Waco Family Medicine has raised about $30 million in pledges and donations for the facility’s $61 million cost with another $18 million potentially on the way, advancement director Dale Barron said. Leading the donations were two anonymous donations of between $2 million and $2.5 million, followed by $1 million pledges from Dr. George Jurek, Shane Turner and Joe Beard. A groundbreaking press release says the Gaineses also contributed an unspecified amount to the project.
The City of Waco and McLennan County are providing $2.5 million for the new building. Information about donating to the new center is available at wacofamilymedicine.org/donate.
Ascension Providence, which owned the land where the current building stands, donated the land for the new facility, Stanton said. The main entrance will face the corner of Colcord Avenue and 15th Street North A, a change that will allow direct patient access from Colcord Avenue. It also creates a corner green space that Erin Peavey, vice president of Dallas-based architectural firm HKS, said was a request for a community input session.
The first floor of the building is designed for community interaction, both in medical services and in support of community social services and non-profit organizations dealing with food insecurity, housing, transportation, health and social services. legal aid, linguistic assistance and other problems. A covered portico space on the east side of the building will have tables and chairs, allowing people to wait inside for friends and family as well as facilitating meetings and conversations.
Examination and treatment rooms, as well as offices, will occupy the second through fourth floors with dental services on the top floor of the glass-fronted building. The dentists’ chairs will have the best view in town, Hardin said. The new facility will also include a teaching kitchen, fitness center and community garden.
Peavey said the porch-like community spaces and glazed sides facing the neighborhood are meant to show the center’s involvement in its neighborhood and provide spaces for patients, doctors and staff to recharge.
Since the announcement of the new center last summer, the estimated cost has risen from $51 million to $61 million. Hardin said the rising costs did not result in any substantial design changes.
Construction of the building is expected to occur in phases, which will allow continued use of the current facility while the new one is being constructed. The new building is expected to open in 2024.
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