Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. Dedicates New Dixon Health & Wellness Center

Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. – a not-for-profit dedicated to creating access to health care for low-income families and the uninsured, celebrated the grand opening and dedication of the Dixon Health & Wellness Center on San Antonio’s Southeast Side. The Ceremony began at 10 a.m. Monday, October 1, 2018, at the Center’s new location at 4212 E. Southcross St. and was attended by community and civic leaders, members of the faith and healthcare community, and the area’s city and county elected officials.

The Center is named after Bishop Ernest Thomas Dixon, Jr., who was born and raised in East San Antonio and was the first African-American elected Bishop by the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. “Bishop Dixon is remembered as a champion for social justice and envisioned a community where quality care was available to all, regardless of ability to pay. In recognition of his lifetime of service to the community and as a testament to his legacy, the Center has become a trusted source for quality, compassionate care for the underserved in San Antonio,” reflected Bishop Robert Schnase, Resident Bishop of Rio Texas, Conference of The United Methodist Church

The ceremony also marked the first public event for Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ new Chief Executive Officer, Jaime Wesolowski, who began his tenure at the organization on the same day. Wesolowski stated, “I can’t think of a better way to mark what this day means to me personally, as I transition into my new role as CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries than to celebrate the legacy of compassion and service Bishop Dixon left for us. Bishop Dixon left an indelible mark on the history of Methodist Healthcare Ministries.”

First opened in 1998 as the Bishop Ernest T. Dixon, Jr. Clinic, the center has provided quality primary care, health education programs, behavioral health and case management services for 20 years at its former location at 1954 E. Houston Street. Relocation and expansion plans were made in 2017 after an independent study identified Southeast San Antonio as an area of high need coupled with a lack of health care options for low-income, uninsured families. Over $3M was invested to purchase the former Southeast Baptist Hospital and construction efforts commenced with the purpose of transforming the 20-acre property into a health center serving low-income, uninsured patients. Renovations were completed in 2018 and the clinic was renamed the Dixon Health & Wellness Center to reflect the holistic care now available to the community.

The Center now includes: a state-of-the-art dental suite offering 24 dental chairs and oral surgery; physical therapy offered in partnership with The University of the Incarnate Word School of Physical Therapy; a beautiful courtyard with a walking trail and benches, providing community members and clinic staff alike a safe place to exercise and relax; and a chapel where people can find a quiet place to meditate and pray. Integral to the new Dixon Health & Wellness Center design is a floorplan that facilitates the delivery of services through an integrated care model — meaning patients will be assisted by a team of health care providers (doctors, counselors, dentists, etc.,) to ensure that patients receive holistic care – mind, body and spirit.

Alice Gannon, Board Chair at Methodist Healthcare Ministries added, “We are quite pleased that our neighbors have begun to enjoy the walking paths and the beautiful garden in front of this facility. We hope to add more amenities to the property going forward that the community can continue to enjoy for many years to come, making the new Dixon Health and Wellness Center a true reflection of the legacy Bishop Dixon left us and a place for compassionate care, healing, and wellness.”

The Dixon Health & Wellness Center is strategically located to meet the needs of a population that has been traditionally underserved. The majority of patients have complex medical needs as 49 percent of patients serviced in 2017 suffer from at least one chronic illness, such as diabetes and hypertension and 40 percent suffer from more than one. 82 percent of the patients identify as Hispanic or Latino, 65 percent are women, and 48 percent had income at or below the federal poverty level.

Wesolowski added, “Our mission is the promise that we make, and the standard we set for the care provided to our patients and clients here and across South Texas. The Dixon Health and Wellness Center represents the culmination of years’ work to deliver on that promise for a community on the Eastside that has been often underserved and overlooked by others. We look forward to building on our long-term commitment to this community.”

The Dixon Health & Wellness Center furthers Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ mission of “Serving Humanity to Honor God” by creating access to health care opportunities to the underserved.