March 17, 2022
(Austin) — Central Health will break ground on two new community health centers in Eastern Travis County, fulfilling a commitment made to Travis County residents to expand access to care in historically underserved communities.
Family friendly groundbreaking celebrations are scheduled at the site of the planned clinics in Hornsby Bend on March 26, and in Del Valle on April 2. The Hornsby Bend groundbreaking event is 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the public soccer field at Dailey Middle School, 14000 Westall St., Austin, Texas 78725. The Del Valle groundbreaking is 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 7050 Elroy Road, adjacent to Popham Elementary School.
“Expanding health care access is an important part of our recently adopted service delivery strategic plan, which will bring quality, equitable health care to people who are uninsured and under-insured,” Central Health President & CEO Mike Geeslin said. “Central Health promised residents better access to general health care, mental and behavioral health services, and dental care and we’re delivering on that promise. This is just the beginning – we’re identifying gaps in our healthcare delivery system and developing solutions to fix those gaps.”
The new, state-of-the-art health centers are expected to open in 2023 and will help address long-standing health equity issues affecting residents of both communities, which are more disease burdened and with lower income than Travis County as a whole. According to Central Health’s 2020 Demographic Report, 21.4% of Hornsby Bend households are below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) compared to 13.8% in Travis County. For an individual in 2022, the FPL is $27,180, or $55,500 for a family of four. In Del Valle, 35.6% of households are below 200% FPL – nearly three times the poverty rate for Travis County. Hornsby Bend and Del Valle residents also suffer more from severe chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
“Eastern Travis County has historically been one of the most underserved parts of the county,” said Dr. Charles E. Bell, Chairperson of the Central Health Board of Managers. “Central Health’s Board of Managers committed several years ago to begin to rectify this — as part of our mandate from Travis County taxpayers – and opening two health centers is part of our solution.”
The Hornsby Bend Health & Wellness Center will replace the existing Hornsby Bend Health Center – a modular building – which opened in 2020. The new facility, which will be 7,800 square feet, will be located at 3700 Gilbert Road, across from Dailey Middle School. About 12,737 live in the Hornsby Bend area.
When it opens in the spring of 2023, the Hornsby Bend Health & Wellness Center will offer:
- Primary Care,
- Integrated Behavioral Health and Oral Assessments,
- Select Specialty Care Services via Telehealth; and
- Accessible Community Gathering Space, including an indoor community room, play areas, and green space.
Del Valle Health & Wellness Center
The new, 18,900 square foot Del Valle Health & Wellness Center, which is expected to open in the summer of 2023, will replace the existing Del Valle Health Center, which currently operates in the Travis County Employee Wellness Center. The new facility and anticipated to serve about 21,672 Del Valle residents.
The Del Valle Health & Wellness Center will include:
- Primary Care
- Dental Care
- Integrated Mental Health
- A Retail Pharmacy
To ensure the community was represented in the creation of the health centers, Central Health prioritized community engagement throughout the project development process.
In 2018, Central Health formed community advisory committees for each center, and conducted one-on-one interviews, surveys, and community conversations to capture as many voices as possible. Community input helped guide decisions around health center amenities and general design. In addition, community input will help refine wellness programming.
Lorena Cruz, a longtime resident of Hornsby Bend, said community members are eagerly anticipating when the health center opens in her neighborhood.
“It’s going to be huge for us,” she said. “I can’t wait for that to be open. We’re one community that really needs it. Right now, if you don’t have transportation, it’s at least 30 minutes to get medical attention by bus. It’s going to have space for cooking and health classes. There’ll be rooms to learn a whole different set of skills. I look forward to anything that improves that part of Austin.”
For more information about the events, call (512) 978-8145.