Parkland, V.A. receive HRC’s highest score, Methodist the lowest on HEI


Parkland Hospital

The Human Rights Campaign has released its annual Healthcare Equality Index, and Dallas hospitals fared far better than they have in the past.

Parkland Health & Hospital System received HRC’s top rating for the fourth year in a row. Rated separately, all of its facilities throughout the county — like Amelia Court and other clinics — fared well.

The four categories rated are patient non-discrimination, visitation, employment non-discrimination and training. The rating for each were “yes,” “no” or “not applicable.”

The Dallas V.A. hospital also received HRC’s top rating.

UT Southwestern, Medical City, Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake and Green Oaks Hospital received positive ratings in every category except training.

Who ranked worst across the board? Methodist Hospital received the lowest rating, with a “no” in every category.

Baylor has non-discrimination in patient visitation, but may still fire you if you’re LGBT or not give you equal patient care. One of the few cases filed and won under the Dallas non-discrimination was against Baylor.

Presbyterian doesn’t have a patient non-discrimination policy, but does have visitation and employment policies in place.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized by the HRC Foundation. Parkland is committed to providing a safe, respectful and caring environment for everyone,” said Ildemaro Gonzalez, Parkland’s vice president and chief inclusion and diversity officer.

In Fort Worth, no hospital received top rating.

Cook Children’s Medical Center and Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth have policies in place without training.

Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth has a policy allowing visitation.

John Peter Smith, Tarrant County’s counterpart to Parkland, allows visitation, but doesn’t have non-discrimination policies for patients or employees.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth allows patient discrimination but has a nondiscrimination policy for its employees and visitors.

In Arlington, Medical Center of Arlington has all categories covered except training.

Baylor Medical Center at Irving lacks the same protections as the other hospitals in the Baylor system.

Las Colinas Medical Center in Irving and Medical Center of Plano only lack training.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano has no patient protections in place.

Across Texas, 13 hospitals or hospital systems received the highest rating. None in Oklahoma received that score.

—  David Taffet

Rawlings, Kunkle headed to Oak Cliff for debate

Dallas mayoral candidates David Kunkle, left, and Mike Rawlings

Any of you didn’t get answers to all your questions at Dallas Voice’s LGBT mayoral runoff forum — and those of you who might have stayed home due to the weather — have another chance to hear Dallas mayoral candidates Mike Rawlings and David Kunkle speak on the issues.

The Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce is hosting a mayoral debate forum at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Hitt Auditorium at Methodist Hospital, 1441 N. Beckley Ave.

KERA‘s Shelley Kofler will moderate, and questions for the candidates can be submitted by email to

—  admin

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 05.13Vern_Yip-1

Both historic and modern
The dancers from the Complexions Contemporary Ballet are likely in good spirits. They embark on their Dallas residency for the next year working with TITAS on the commissioned work Testament, a new work based on Negro spiritual songs sung by actor Cedric Neal and new choreography by the company.

DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. 8 p.m.


Sunday 05.15

Time for some family bonding
LGBT families are more than welcome at this first Modern Family Fest. A full day of activities, entertainment and the most family bonding thing ever — food. With Off the Bone serving up barbecue and the Mister Cool Ice Cream truck, the adults might end up taking a nap before the kids do.

DEETS: Methodist Hospital Folsom Fitness Center Park, 262 West Greenbriar St. Noon.
$5 children, $10 adults.


Thursday 05.19

Yip! Yip! Hooray
If you’re having a major interior design brain fart (and who hasn’t?), help is on the way. Vern Yip from Trading Spaces fame comes to town offering his expert advice on your design debacles. Now just comes the time to admit to them.

DEETS: I.O. Metro, # 5301 Alpha Road, Suite 34. 6:30 p.m.

—  Kevin Thomas

Local Briefs

CCGLA surveys candidates, sets meet-and-greet events

As municipal elections approach, the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance has sent an online survey to city council, school board and mayoral candidates in Allen, Frisco, Plano and McKinney, and “meet-and-greet” sessions for candidates are planned in Frisco, Plano and McKinney in April.

The organization will also create and distribute a voters’ guide.

The Plano “meet-and-greet” will be held on Friday, April 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at a private residence. For more information, go online to

Results of CCGLA’s candidate surveys will be posted on the CCGLA website prior to each event. The events are informal, non-partisan, and all candidates are invited.

Oak Cliff Earth Day to feature vendors, info booths and more

Oak Cliff Earth Day, which has become the largest all-volunteer-run Earth Day since it started five years ago, will be held on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 5 p.m. at Lake Cliff Park, located at the intersection of Colorado Street and Zang Boulevard in Oak Cliff.

There is no charge to attend the event, which will include art, food, plants and other environmentally-friendly products available for purchase.

There will also be educational booths on topics such as how to save energy and clean up the environment, along with locally-grown honey, animals to adopt and native plants for gardens.

Parking at the park is limited, however, free parking is available at Methodist Hospital, in Lot 10 only, located at 1400 S. Beckley Ave. across from the hospital entrance on Beckley Ave. Methodist Hospital is providing a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the event.

Participants are also encouraged to take DART to the event or walk or ride a bicycle. There are a number of bike racks, funded by Oak Cliff Earth Day, at the park.

Mayoral candidates to speak Sunday on animal issues in Dallas

Dallas’ mayoral candidates will participate in a forum on animal issues in the city of Dallas on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Central Dallas Library, 1515 Young St., in downtown Dallas. The Metroplex Animal Coalition is sponsoring the forum, with is free and open to the public. Journalist Larry Powell with Urban Animal magazine will moderate.

The mayoral candidates are former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, Councilman Ron Natinsky, real estate consultant Edward Okpa and Mike Rawlings, former Pizza Hut CEO and Dallas homeless czar.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Pavillion owner recovering from hit-and-run

Website taking donations and fundraisers planned to help pay medical bills for Dan Friessen

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

Dan Friessen
Dan Friessen

Barbara’s Pavillion owner Dan Friessen is out of the hospital and recovering after being struck by a hit-and-run driver about 6 p.m. on Dec. 9 as he was walking from his car toward the bar, located at 325 Centre St. in Oak Cliff.

According to police , Friessen was crossing the street, but not at a crosswalk. A Honda only described as gray or silver hit him and threw him 45 feet into a parked car.

The driver fled without rendering aid or leaving identification.

Three witnesses from Dallas Can Academy across the street saw the incident but did not get a license plate number.

Friessen was rushed to Methodist Hospital where he was admitted to intensive care with multiple injuries that were not life threatening.

He had surgery to repair his facial injuries. His jaw is wired shut since the surgery and he remains on a liquid diet.

Because of injuries to his ankle, he was unable to stand unassisted.

On Dec. 12, he was released from the hospital and on Monday, he stopped by the bar.

Friessen has no insurance. A website,, and a Facebook page called “Help Out Dan Friessen” have been created to assist with the cost of medication and to help cover medical bills. Other fundraisers are planned.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Owner of Barbara’s Pavillion in intensive care after being struck by hit-and-run driver

Dan Friessen, an owner of Barbara’s Pavillion in Oak Cliff, was struck by a hit-and-run driver outside the bar at about 6 p.m. today.

He was rushed to nearby Methodist Hospital where he was admitted to ICU with multiple injuries that were not life-threatening. Speaking by phone, an employee of the bar said Friessen had a broken nose, fractured left cheek and injuries around the eye but no head trauma. He also has multiple fractures in one ankle.

An eyewitness from the nearby Can Academy reported that the car that hit Friessen was a khaki-colored Honda. A Dallas police spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

—  David Taffet