Methodist Medical Group History

Methodist Medical Group began in 1995 as a professional association of Methodist hospital physicians.

Former President/CEO David Hitt envisioned establishing a greater presence outside of hospital campuses, and placing primary care centers in the community, closer to the patients Methodist serves. In September 1995, the first office opened in South Grand Prairie, under the physician leadership of Charles Dell, MD, and Bryan Peeler, MD, and the administrative leadership of Paul Farrow.

As the group continued to grow, adding offices in Desoto and Cedar Hill, Methodist leadership determined it would be best to transform the professional association into a 501A, and MedHealth was born. During the early 2000s, MedHealth continued to add more locations in Grand Prairie and Cedar Hill.

When Stephen L. Mansfield, PhD, FACHE, joined Methodist Health System as president and CEO in 2007, he had a vision to grow the primary care access points and increase the scope of Methodist outside of historical service areas. Concurrently, system leadership set goals to add three primary care locations per year, and to strategically place these facilities in new markets. The first facility opened under this directive was Methodist Uptown Medical Group.

“In 2007, people north of the Trinity River were not aware of Methodist and its history in south Dallas,” says Callie Hollenshead, MD, who opened the Uptown office. “It was a huge step to open this office, but it was a very strategic move. Methodist was able to get ahead of some of the growth in this area and seize the opportunity in Uptown.”

In addition to growing in size and expanding its footprint in the marketplace, MedHealth added specialists to the medical group. The neurosurgeons at Methodist Moody Brain and Spine Institute were the first specialists to join. MedHealth continued to thrive, and over the next 10 years opened more than 20 primary care locations, and added 15 specialty practices.

With growth came many challenges, including managing the needs of developing a physician network, and implementing the group’s first electronic medical record (EMR) system.

“In 2008, we took all of our paper charts and converted everything to an EMR. This was a huge undertaking, and what I recall as one of our biggest challenges, but it helped position the medical group for the transformation of healthcare,” Mr. Farrow recalls.

Another notable milestone was the establishment of the Physician Executive Committee in 2013. Many of the group’s obstacles became more manageable when the governance of the medical group evolved from an organization led by administrators to an organization lead by a dyad of both physician and administrative leaders.

“There came a point when we realized we needed to establish a physician executive council to direct the group and let an administrative team support and implement the decisions,” Mr. Farrow said.

In 2015, Paul Farrow resigned, and George Williams, MD, joined the organization as its new president. While the organization continued to be physician-led, Dr. Williams facilitated several changes including rebranding the organization to better identify and align with Methodist Health System.

In December 2016, MedHealth began operating under the name Methodist Medical Group. The new name better reflected the physician group’s affiliation with the health system and its transformation into a larger multi-specialty medical group.

“We felt it was important for the operational name to convey the evolution into a multi-specialty group and capture concepts such as clinical integration and continuum of care in a meaningful way,” Dr. Williams says.

Methodist Medical Group will continue to expand and make progress in the ever-changing landscape of healthcare. Professionals in the medical group continue to work together to increase healthcare access to patients through telemedicine, ambulatory centers, and urgent care centers. Currently, Methodist Medical Group employs 120 providers at 35 locations.

While the past two decades have brought expansion of the medical staff, locations, and a name change, the original vision of delivering quality care to the communities Methodist serves still guides the decisions we make and remains the cornerstone of our success. We are proud to be a part of the Methodist vision to improve and save lives through compassionate, quality healthcare.