Community Health Centers: the Prescription for Healthy Living

Categories: Client Spotlight, Investment

HealthCore Clinic

HealthCore Clinic, Wichita, KS

As a community development financial institution that fosters primary care expansion and transformation in low-income communities, the Primary Care Development Corporation’s (PCDC) interests go beyond typical loan financing. When evaluating projects, we actively help providers explore and execute innovative strategies to promote population health. Although this frequently means expansion and/or integration of health services, our projects increasingly have included imaginative ways to meet the needs of specific patient groups, inside the health center and out.

Here are just a few examples of projects PCDC has financed coast-to-coast (and points in between) that have intrigued us with their creativity:

Motivating the community:
When visiting Los Barrios Unidos Community Health Center’s various locations in and around Dallas, Texas, you’ll want to drive: this is Texas, and there is a lot of open space. However, driving can have an insidious downside: a higher propensity for a sedentary lifestyle. When Los Barrios asked PCDC to provide financing that would re-start its expansion in the Oak Hill section of Dallas, we immediately noticed something different in the plans: a walking track around and through the site itself. LBUCHC’s focus on exercise was complemented by planned spaces for nutrition counseling and community gatherings, all to promote a healthier lifestyle in its community.

Decreasing infant mortality:
HealthCore Clinic is located in Wichita, Kansas, a city with the distinction of having the highest rate of infant mortality among African-Americans in the nation. As an increase in patient appointments made expansion necessary, management used the opportunity to address this community tragedy, beginning with nutrition and exercise. When HealthCore asked PCDC to finance its expansion, we were delighted to see plans that included a gym, a teaching kitchen, and space for nutritional classes. HealthCore views these as first steps in a larger program to improve healthy birth outcomes in its community.

Helping patients beyond the center:
HealthRight360’s roots in San Francisco date back to the 1960s to the legacy community service organizations of Walden House and the Haight Ashbury Clinic. This 50-year commitment to behavioral health and primary care has enabled HR360 to consider not only its patients’ immediate needs, but also how best to ensure their well-being beyond the clinic walls. Hence, when the organization decided to expand its services in the Mission/South of Market/Downtown area of the city, the space included a computer lab and teaching classrooms, all geared toward formal GED instruction. By helping the community to battle homelessness and unemployment, HR360 is able to more thoroughly serve the needs of the whole individual.

These are just some of the innovative programs PCDC has funded in the past year. We are eager to see what other inventive solutions our clients propose to better their communities and help their patients live healthier lives.

About the author:

William O’Brien, Chief Lending Officer

Phone: 212-437-3950Email: In 2011, Bill O’Brien joined PCDC as its Chief Lending Officer, responsible for managing the Capital Investment team’s efforts to help providers expand and transform their practices through traditional and structured financing. As CLO, Bill continues a 25-year career of developing financial solutions that help clients reach their goals. Prior to joining PCDC in 2011, Bill was Senior Vice President at IKB Capital Corporation, where he held several roles including SVP and Chief Credit Officer, managing nearly $2.0 billion of loans, including $200 million of healthcare investments. In this capacity he helped structure financing packages for hospitals, long-term care facilities and physician-owned practices. Prior to this he was Vice President at Fortis Bank, where he managed the firm’s Structured Finance activities, developing new products, including helping to develop the first national healthcare receivable securitization program in the Netherlands. Earlier positions included relationship management positions at Banca CRT, Credit Lyonnais and other financial institutions. Bill received a BA (Philosophy) from Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, an MA (Philosophy) from New York University, an MBA (Finance) from Manhattan College, as well as post-graduate Executive Leadership Development training at Cornell University. He is formally credit trained and is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the New York Institute of Credit, and the Global Association of Risk. Bill is a member of the New Markets Advisory Board for the Low Income Investment Fund.