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Methodist Health System — a history of caring for our community

Methodist Hospital of Dallas groundbreaking, 1924
Methodist Hospital of Dallas groundbreaking, 1924

Methodist Health System is one of North Texas' oldest nonprofit health systems. We've gone through many changes over the decades, but our mission has always been the same — commitment to the health and well-being of our community.

In the beginning

In 1921, seven men and their pastor, the Rev. Charles Selecman, gathered in a Sunday school classroom at First United Methodist Church in Dallas and dreamed of something far greater than themselves. They envisioned a ministry that would bring healthcare to those in greatest need with compassion and dignity.

The Golden Cross Ministry, as they named it, became an impetus for a greater discussion of building a hospital, a place that would be a beacon of hope to the communities south of the Trinity River. In 1924, local ministers of the United Methodist Church and civic leaders broke ground for the hospital. Among the many donors are the physicians who will be on the medical staff, donating $100,000 toward the $552,267 endeavor. On Christmas Eve, the 100-bed facility opened as Dallas Methodist Hospital.

Thriving and expanding in Dallas

The original Methodist Hospital of Dallas building, which opened in 1927 in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas.
Original Methodist Hospital of Dallas building

After persevering through the early years and the Great Depression, Dallas Methodist Hospital began to truly thrive and expand in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1951, a three-story student nurse's residence was constructed near the hospital and in 1966 the Martin and Charlotte Weiss Educational Building opened, providing classroom space for nursing education and a large auditorium for community programs. By the 1960s, Dallas Methodist Hospital grew to include 420 beds.

In 1979, Methodist starts its trauma program. The same year, the hospital teamed up with Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital to form CareFlite, the eighth-oldest medical air transportation service in the nation. It has since expanded to include several other health systems, in addition to Methodist, and continues to serve the community to this day. Also that year, Methodist opened its first first neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In 1980, the transplant program begins at Methodist with the first kidney transplant. Its first heart transplant follows in 1986, and in 2003, the hospital added a liver transplant program.

The first graduating class of the Methodist Hospital of Dallas Nursing School, 1930.
Dallas Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, 1930

Margaret Jonsson Charlton at the 1973 groundbreaking for Charlton Methodist Hospital
Margaret Jonsson Charlton at the 1973
groundbreaking ceremony

Methodist Charlton opens to serve Southern Dallas County

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Methodist Hospitals of Dallas continued to grow. In 1975 Charlton Methodist Hospital opened its doors to serve the growing communities of Southern Dallas County. This dedication to the community was further evidenced in 1985 when Methodist's board of directors made the decision to remain a viable entity in Southern Dallas County, and initiated a $100 million building program. As a result Methodist Charlton and Methodist Dallas Medical Centers underwent major expansions to mirror the growth of the communities they served.

In 2009 Methodist Charlton saw further expansion with the opening of the new patient bed tower, which featured:

  • The addition of spacious, modern patient rooms (301 patient rooms – up from 254) with flat screen TVs and wireless Internet connections
  • Methodist Charlton Medical Center new patient bed tower expansion completed in 2009A new surgery suite with seven operating rooms, including one specially designed for heart surgery
  • A new dedicated orthopedic unit with a rehabilitation room for patients and their families
  • Three nurses stations per patient floor
  • Nursing alcove for each pair of patient rooms, providing greater access to nurses
  • Bright, open lobby with a coffee shop nearby
  • Larger dining area offering guests a comfortable place to eat and relax
  • Expanded free visitor parking

Methodist Family Health Centers

Methodist Family Health Center - Preston Hollow Dallas, TexasIn addition to the on-site care available at Methodist hospitals, in 1995 Methodist extended our mission beyond our hospitals, opening community Family Health Centers. Currently, there are more than two dozen Methodist Family Health Centers located in Arlington, Cedar Hill, Dallas, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Midlothian, Richardson, Waxahachie, and Wylie.

In 2015, Methodist opened Methodist Urgent Care Centers to its family, and there are currently two locations in Dallas and in Mansfield, with a third coming in May 2018 in the Methodist Convenient Care Campus in Grand Prairie.

Methodist Health System

In May 2003 Methodist Hospitals of Dallas began operating the system under the name Methodist Health System. Methodist Medical Center began operating under the name Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Charlton Methodist Hospital began operating under the name Methodist Charlton Medical Center. These name changes allowed us to give the public a strong, recognizable element to reference.

Continued Growth — Mansfield, McKinney and Beyond

Growth has been the hallmark of the past several years for Methodist Health System.

Methodist Mansfield Medical Center to Build New Hospital TowerIn December 2006 we opened the new, patient-centric, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center to serve the vibrant Mansfield community and the surrounding communities of south Arlington and south Grand Prairie. In 2012, Methodist Mansfield completed a major expansion of the Women's Pavilion, creating a total of 13 labor and delivery suites to accommodate up to 3,800 deliveries each year. Before its tenth anniversary, Methodist Mansfield opened its second tower with 110,000 square feet of space for expanded women’s health, cardiology, operating rooms, 86 private patient rooms, and gastroenterology (GI) services. The Amon G. Carter Foundation Heart and Vascular Center opened at the same time, providing enhanced and advanced cardiac services and procedures.

As part of an affiliation between Methodist Health System and Kindred Healthcare, the 40-bed Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital opened as a distinct legal entity in 2008 to offer specialized care to patients recovering from strokes, brain and spinal cord injuries, multi-trauma, neurological disorders, cardiopulmonary procedures, and complex orthopedic surgeries.

Aerial view of Methodist Dallas Medical Center with downtown Dallas and the Trinity River, 1951. Click to enlarge image.
Aerial view of Methodist Hospital of Dallas, 1951

In 2008 ground was broken on Methodist McKinney Hospital, a 15-bed hospital which will be operated by a distinct legal entity created through a joint venture between area physicians, Methodist Health System, and NueHealth. Methodist McKinney Hospital, the newest hospital in Collin County, Texas, opened in February 2010.

In November 2010, the Methodist Hospital for Surgery, a joint venture partnership between area physicians, Methodist Health System, and NueHealth, opened in Addison.

Charles A. Sammons Trauma and Critical Care Tower RenderingsIn August 2011, the Methodist Health System board of directors approved a facility expansion plan exceeding $135 million that will directly benefit southwest Dallas County through renovations of Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Methodist Charlton Medical Center.

Charles A. Sammons Trauma and Critical Care Tower at Methodist Dallas Medical Center
Click to enlarge image.

Part of that plan came to fruition in July 2014 with the opening of the six-story, 248,000-square-foot Charles A. Sammons Trauma and Critical Care Tower allowing us to provide an advanced level of care to nearly 90,000 patients a year. The following year, the enhanced services and expertise garnered a Level I Trauma designation from the American College of Surgeons. Methodist Dallas became the third Level I Trauma center in Dallas County, which means it can provide total care for every aspect of injury – from prevention through rehabilitation. Elements of Level I Trauma Centers Include:

  • 24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons, and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatric and critical care.
  • Referral resource for communities in nearby regions.
  • Provides leadership in prevention, public education to surrounding communities.
  • Provides continuing education of the trauma team members.
  • Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program.
  • Operates an organized teaching and research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care.
  • Program for substance abuse screening and patient intervention.
  • Meets minimum requirement for annual volume of severely injured patients.

In 2015, Methodist opens the Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Arlington, a joint venture among Methodist, Texas Health Resources, and Kindred Healthcare. Also that year, Methodist acquired several diagnostic imaging centers throughout North Texas.

Then in 2016, Methodist Health System acquires Forest Park Medical Center in Southlake and renames it Methodist Southlake Hospital, and operates it with NueHealth.

Methodist Richardson Medical Center

Methodist Richardson Medical Center – Bush/Renner Expansion RenderingsIn June 2009, Richardson Regional Medical Center joined the Methodist family. Methodist Richardson Medical Center and Methodist Richardson Medical Center Bush/Renner expanded the Methodist footprint to serve communities in Richardson, Garland, North Dallas, Plano, Sachse, Wylie, and the surrounding areas with two emergency departments, a cancer center, behavioral health and addiction recovery services, a sleep disorders center, five Methodist Richardson Primary Care Clinics, and more. In April 2014, Methodist Richardson Medical Center opened as a new 125-bed, four-story acute care hospital, on the southeast corner of Renner Road and President George Bush Highway. In 2018, the hospital began an $85 million expansion years ahead of schedule to add a parking garage, operating room, pre-op rooms, and two additional patient floors with 150 beds.

Grounded in Faith

Our original hospital was envisioned, funded, and supported largely with the help of the United Methodist Church, and our covenant agreement with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church stands to this day. Throughout our history we've operated consistent with the United Methodist Church's healing ministry. The ties to the United Methodist Church have been strengthened further by the presence of Methodist ministers and church members on governing boards, an ongoing commitment to pastoral education, 24-hour chaplain services, and health ministries at local churches.

Committed to Our Community — Now and Into the Future

Methodist's continued commitment to the community is represented in a number of outreach activities, including its mobile mammography and health screenings, maternity services at Methodist Dallas Medical Center and several of the independent physicians who provide care at Methodist Dallas, work in partnership with Los Barrios Unidos, a local clinic created to provide much needed pregnancy care to Spanish-speaking mothers.

The Methodist Health System mobile mammography unit travels to community centers, clinics, businesses, and other locations throughout the Metroplex
Methodist Health System's Mobile Mammography Unit

The Methodist Dallas Golden Cross Academic Clinic offers a medical home for members of the Dallas community in need of affordable health care for internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and general surgical services.

The Life Shines Bright Pregnancy Program, offered through the Methodist Dallas Golden Cross Academic Clinic, has proven effective in dramatically reducing premature births among its participants.

The Asian Breast Health Outreach Project at Methodist Richardson Medical Center provides education and mammogram screenings for uninsured and under insured Asian women.

Methodist Health System's Heart of the Community initiative, launched in 2012, is designed to improve the cardio health of the communities we serve through heart disease education and prevention.

In 2012 the Methodist Dallas Medical Center Auxiliary celebrated its 90th anniversary of serving and supporting the hospital and its patients.

Innovative and Specialized Patient Care

Our patients have always been our first priority, and we believe that innovative and specialized care is an essential component of that commitment. We are the proud home of a long-standing, patient-centered organ transplant program. We've continued to secure our position on the leading edge of medicine through a wide variety of highly specialized services and facilities and a Graduate Medical Education teaching program that draws physicians from medical schools across the nation.

A Bright Tomorrow

Our first hospital, Dallas Methodist Hospital, served a population of 158,000. Today Methodist Health System's service areas cover a population of well over three million people. We believe that the innovation, dedication, and vision that have helped us thrive over the past decades will help ensure our strength well into the future. We look forward to serving our community for generations to come.