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Monday, April 12, 2021

Road to health: New parkway drawing medical facilities to southwest

Robert Francis

The Chisholm Trail Parkway may eventually bring a new campus for Tarleton State University to the area, but it already is bringing several new medical facilities to southwest Fort Worth. Oceans Behavioral Hospital Fort Worth, a 48-bed, 34,000-square-foot facility in Fort Worth that provides specialized psychiatric treatment for adult and geriatric populations, opened in May. “No doubt that parkway, as well as the need for behavioral health services in southwest Fort Worth, had a lot to do with our site selection,” said Marc Goldman, a founding partner at SRP Medical, the Dallas-based health care investment and development firm behind Oceans Behavioral Hospital.

Oceans Behavioral was followed in November by the opening of the $95 million Forest Park Medical Center Fort Worth. It is located in the Clearfork development in southwest Fort Worth. A 54-bed acute care hospital, it is part of a group of hospitals bearing the Forest Park name that was developed by the Neal Richards Group of Dallas. Other locations are in Southlake, Dallas, Frisco, San Antonio and a future site in Austin. The hospitals aren’t shy about discussing their amenities, which they describe as being similar to a “five-star hotel.” The hospitals’ decor and design wouldn’t be out of place in an upscale ski lodge. That aesthetic is certainly attractive to potential patients, but it goes beyond that, says James Davis, CEO of Forest Park Medical Center Fort Worth, who was previously chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at the group’s Frisco location. “This all creates better outcomes for the patients and that’s key,” he said. Davis pointed not just to the five-star amenities – Starbucks-style coffee bars, high-end restaurant-style food and VIP rooms – but the level of service that goes along with it. “That all contributes to better outcomes for our patients,” he said.

Forest Park’s medical centers are physician-owned, meaning each is owned and run, at least partially, by doctors. This gives physicians a greater stake in the patient outcomes and the success of the hospitals, though critics, such as the American Hospital Association, say it hurts nonprofit or public hospitals by cherry-picking wealthier patients. The Fort Worth location has 68 physician investors. The floor plans are designed for better care too, Davis said. They allow nurses to more closely observe more patients. They also are designed to allow more surgeries than traditional hospitals, he said. That is more convenient for the staff and can provide greater income for the hospital. The hospital also has a small emergency room. Forest Park’s business model has attracted plenty of notice. Sabra Health Care REID Inc. of Irvine, Calif., has made several investments in the group, including providing construction financing of up to $66.8 million for the Fort Worth location. Formerly part of The Staubach Company, SRP Medical also has been involved in several Forest Park projects, though not the Fort Worth location. SRP specializes in the development of health care properties in Texas and throughout the southern United States. Its senior health care partner, Oceans Healthcare has opened several behavioral health facilities for adult and geriatric patients in Texas. The Fort Worth location employs about 100 workers, including medical doctors, nurses, technicians and administrative workers. “SRP was proud to support Oceans in creating an exceptional center of care and healing that effectively addresses the underserved acute behavioral health needs of the adult and senior population in Fort Worth,” said Goldman, who grew up in Fort Worth. Goldman said Oceans Behavioral Hospital is focused on individualized care for adults over 55 suffering from mood and behavior disturbances or progressive, degenerative illnesses that is not provided in a typical adult psychiatric care setting or general acute care hospital.

“Mental health issues can make a real difference between a person getting well and not recovering in that age group and we’ve had great success in focusing on that group,” he said.

New hospitals aren’t the only ones investing in medical facilities in southwest Fort Worth. In early 2014, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth completed its new surgical recovery and operating room expansion project. The expansion is the centerpiece of a $44 million renovation project that will allow the hospital to accommodate twice its previous surgical volume. Also included in this construction phase is a 24-bed inpatient unit that was built in anticipation of increased volume in the coming years. “This expansion signifies the commitment we’ve made to continuously offer our patients excellence in health care in a closer to home setting,” said Joseph DeLeon, president of Texas Health Southwest, when the project was completed. In May, the hospital also opened a new $12 million, 60,000-square-foot, three-story medical office building across the street from the hospital.

The first of three floors in the building includes a satellite Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine location, while the second floor houses Fort Worth Orthopedics and the third floor the Texas Hip and Knee Center. While medical centers are flocking to southwest Fort Worth, in 2012, the then-Baylor Health Care System closed its 71-bed hospital in southwest Fort Worth in 2012. That property is expected to become a medical office building.  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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