Dorothy Marshall, MD has been appointed as Chief Medical Officer at Foremost Family Health Centers. Her stunning accomplishments in medicine emerged from a childhood experience that remains with her today.
“First, I want to make it clear that I owe everything to my parents. God blessed me to have the finest parents on Earth. They taught me to figure things out, to be inquisitive, to be a learner. My parents would take me to restaurants, and they demanded that I read off the menu, make my own choices, and then lock eyes with the server and place my own order.
At first, I was timid and overwhelmed– but that beginning lesson of self-reliance set me on an educational and emotional path to become a life – long learner, emerging from a place of confidence,” said Marshall.
Marshall, a Los Angeles native, attended Yale University and Boston University, and went on to study medicine at the University of Miami. She joined Foremost Family Health Centers four years ago focusing on family medicine and OB/GYN. Marshall quickly developed the reputation as a brilliant caring doctor who listened and was skilled in diagnosis. Bryanna Daniels, an early patient of Marshall offers this: “I was bleeding uncontrollably for months and visited five or six doctors. No one could figure out how to help me…until I found Dr. Marshall. She changed the course of my life by figuring out what was wrong with me…and how to help. I never want to be away from her care.”
Marshall has served as interim medical director for a year and was appointed Chief Medical Officer on June 1, 2023.
Said Marshall: My goal is to raise the level of confidence and expertise of our team to continue delivering world-class service to our community and altering the healthcare outcomes of real people.”
But the U.S. healthcare system is rooted in problems and inequalities in care and outcomes. Marshall understands the mountain of issues she and her team must conquer.
Said Marshall: “The end of the Covid federal health emergency is going to place vulnerable populations at greater risk.”
Texas did not expand Medicaid. That means there’s more people who will be outside of the healthcare system— a system that people already don’t trust. Now, they will be at greater propensity to fall through cracks.”
The sheer numbers of uninsured or underinsured patients add to this challenge.
A recent survey reported nearly one in five residents in Texas (18.4% of the adult population lack health insurance. ) In practical terms, what do these numbers mean to Dallas County (as the third most populous county in the state?)
“Parkland can’t see everyone who needs treatment. The sheer numbers of uninsured make this impossible. Federally Qualified Health Centers [like Foremost] are part of the health care safety net protecting our communities. We are charged with the responsibilities of ensuring our patients receive quality, respectful care,” said Marshall.
“During the healthcare emergency, access to care improved for vulnerable populations, but now that it’s over we are returning to pre-pandemic care models and the problems will potentially be worsened because there is a greater disease burden on the healthcare system,’ offers Marshall.
Taking care of patients and uncovering answers to tough questions drives Marshall. She remains relentless in pursuit of answers to solve the problems unique to these turbulent times.
“My vision is to develop the Foremost team to be self-reliant and fully equipped to take care of the communities we serve. Patients don’t want to be dismissed and pushed aside. They want to be valued and respected– and heard. That starts at the top. It begins with me. And that is what I will do as Chief Medical Officer.”
Dr. Marshall continues to speak up and speak out to ensure the finest health care is available to residents of the South Dallas, Fair Park and Balch Springs communities. As a little girl in Los Angeles, Marshall’s parents empowered her to develop a unique and powerful voice. Today, she uses that voice to improve the health care outcomes of those who can’t speak for themselves.