A one-stop affordable healthcare shop in Fort Worth? Sounds like the plot in a novel — maybe even science fiction. But AIDS Outreach Center of Fort Worth says it’s going to turn this fantasy into a reality.
The nonprofit has teamed up with the national AIDS Healthcare Foundation to open a new medical clinic in east Fort Worth. The clinic will provide patients with dental care, an on-site pharmacy, nutritional assessments, and counseling in addition to standard primary care.
The new clinic comes at a crucial time, when Tarrant County is experiencing a rising number of HIV/AIDS cases and a decrease in federal funding to help AIDS sufferers.
The clinic, to be located beside AOC’s current building on North Beach Street, is expected to serve an estimated 400 to 550 residents, including undocumented immigrants, who might not be comfortable going to Fort Worth’s main public hospital, John Peter Smith.
No money? No insurance? No problem. “We never turn anyone away due to an inability to pay,” said AOC executive director Allan Gould. Which is pretty darn cool considering that 90 percent of the folks AOC now serves live at or below the poverty line.
But this clinic isn’t just for HIV/AIDS patients. Anybody who qualifies financially can receive AOC’s medical services for free. Or the folks there will work with patients’ insurance companies and income levels to provide medical care at a cost they can afford.
Gould said the overall goal is to provide preventative healthcare to the community, specifically HIV/AIDS patients and minorities. He expects the clinic to be open for business by next summer.