Is Fort Worth’s Southside Ready To Become A Medical Innovation Hub?

Long before it was branded the Near Southside, locals called the area across I-30 from downtown the Medical District. Now, Fort Worth officials are making a push to create a world-class medical innovation hub among the eclectic old and new buildings and recent influx of residents.

While this area isn’t exactly a hub of anything yet, much of what’s needed to become a world-class medical hub is already in place – but people don’t necessarily think of it that way. A recent Star-Telegram article points out how the city is working to bolster the area’s reputation.

Becoming Known As A True Medical District

Nearly 40,000 people work in the clinics, treatment centers and hospitals of the Near Southside, according to the Star-Telegram article. That means the area boasts the largest concentration of medical jobs in the DFW area. But it doesn’t get a lot of attention for this fact – or as a regional or national innovator in medicine and treatment.

The city is working to change that, and along the way, it could generate thousands of jobs. It could also attract the new joint TCU and UNT Health Science Center School of Medicine. It all starts with partnerships or “synergy” between hospitals and entrepreneurs in a way that isn’t yet clearly defined. If it all works out, the result could be high-paying jobs coming to Fort Worth to help shore up and expand the local economy.

The Near Southside has developed a reputation in recent years for its excellent bars and unique restaurants, but its reputation as the city’s Medical District is being lost. Among the modern and industrial buildings and 3,000 available or soon-to-be-available apartments is already a collection of top-notch medical facilities. In addition to smaller offices and centers, there’s JPS Hospital as well as Cook Children’s, Texas Health, Baylor Scott & White and Medical City facilities.

The district has a more than $4.2 million annual economic impact on Fort Worth, according to 2014 research. But officials have even higher hopes. Fort Worth city leaders have already visited Oklahoma City and St. Louis where partnerships are leading to more employment and a better reputation for their medical districts.

Don’t Forget Our Medical District

Admittedly, the effort is mostly a labeling and marketing initiative for now, and there are no tax breaks or other incentives being proposed. But putting the Medical District concept to work again in the bustling Near Southside sounds like a good idea for Fort Worth and for people looking for jobs in North Texas.

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