February 22, 2024

Historical Taylor museum to expand health care for the underserved

TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) – A museum reconstruction in Taylor aims to increase access to health care for its underserved populations. This is just the latest project that unites the ideas of historic preservation and getting healthcare to those who need it.

The Dickey Museum burned to the ground a year ago. The fire destroyed the historic home of Dr. James Lee Dickey, physician and civil rights advocate in Taylor.

Two weeks ago, the Dickey Museum and Multipurpose Center announced that it had received a $500,000 grant from the St. David’s Foundation to rebuild the museum.

The center’s president, Jennifer Harris, said the facility, to be completed next year, was aimed at doing more than just sharing the history of Dickey’s life.

She said the center will provide health services in an effort to continue Dickey’s legacy of providing care to the underserved.

“It will foster relationships to help address areas of socioeconomics and other barriers to health and healthcare. We have to overcome those barriers,” Harris said.

Clinic gives new purpose to old school, preserves Taylor’s history

The Dickey Museum and Multipurpose Center project will include rebuilding the nationally listed Dickey house. Harris said the rebuilding of the house is an integral part of preserving the city’s history.

Harris said the center’s health services will be able to be provided through partnerships it has with local health providers – one of which Circle of Single Star Care.

In 2021 the LSCC opened a health clinic and senior center within the former West End School in Taylor. The classrooms were converted into examination rooms. A lunchroom is now crowded with seniors, not students, and people sit down to eat at the Meals on Wheels program on the ground floor of the center.

LSCC CEO John Calvin said the agency was strategic in choosing the former school as its target. The clinic serves any patient regardless of insurance status.

Calvin said the school had been sitting empty since the 1980s before its renovation. He said the agency tried to maintain things like the facade of the building and some internal fixtures to preserve some of its history.

Calvin said the LSCC is excited to work with the Dickey Museum and the Multipurpose Center to close gaps in care for underserved residents.

“We can’t do everything in-house but if we can connect our patients with resources that might be appropriate for them, we want to do that,” Calvin said.

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