Progressive Community Health Center (PCHC), a nonprofit federally qualified health center (FQHC), opened in 2000 to address significant unmet need for health care for the low-income population of northwest Milwaukee. The nation’s eighth poorest city, Milwaukee is severely distressed and is a medically underserved area.
Demand for PCHC’s services has been growing, with patient visits doubling from 15,000 in 2007 to more than 30,000 in 2013. However, its facility at Lisbon Avenue was at capacity, causing a two-month wait for new appointments. This $12 million project replaced its inadequate facility with a new 42,000 square foot, three-story health center with 43 exam rooms and dental chairs in a modern and efficient facility. With this expansion, PCHC hired 34 new staff to support an additional 30,000 patient visits per year. Additionally, administration and medical records, which were housed in separate, rented facilities, moved into the new building, enabling PCHC to consolidate three locations into one.
This financing is part of Reinvestment Fund’s national effort to provide community health center operators with affordable, flexible financing for the construction, renovation or expansion of their facilities. The initiative is a partnership between Reinvestment Fund and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) with support from the Kresge Foundation. JPMorgan Chase served as the NMTC investor; outside the NMTC transaction, LIIF and Reinvestment Fund provided two bridge loans against a federal capital grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration and a grant from Froedtert Health, a large Wisconsin health system and long-term PCHC supporter.