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March 23, 2013
CDFI Fund to Focus on Financing of Community Health Centers
by Robert Kropp
The Financing Community Health Centers series will provide training and technical assistance to
community development financial institutions to help them expand the financing of community health
The Treasury Department's Community Development Financial
Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced yesterday a new series in its Capacity Building Initiative. The series will focus on
providing training and technical assistance to help CDFIs finance the expansion of community health
centers in underserved communities.
More than 1,000 community health centers
nationwide currently provide health care services to more than 20 million people, and provisions of
the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2010, seek to increase the capacity
of community health services to 40 million patients annually.
Also, "Community health
centers serve as engines of economic development in low-income communities, generating jobs for a
wide range of skill-sets as well as providing vital health care services," CDFI Fund Director Donna
Gambrell said. "The Financing Community Health Centers series builds upon the CDFI Fund's holistic
vision for community development."
Chosen as the training provider by the CDFI Fund was
the Opportunity Finance Network
(OFN), a national network of more than 180 CDFIs which have provided more than $23 billion in
financing to underserved communities, both urban and rural. "Through this capacity building
effort," OFN stated, "CDFIs will develop the skills to successfully finance community health
centers in medically underserved markets."
OFN has scheduled workshops starting later this
year for CDFIs to learn how to provide funding for community health centers. Forums will also be
held at which CDFIs with experience in financing community health centers will share their
knowledge. Primary Care Development Corporation
(PCDC), a recipient last year of a $4.25 million Wells Fargo NEXT Award, will be involved in the initiative.
PCDC was awarded the NEXT Award for its strategy to expand its affordable capital and
technical assistance to community healthcare organizations beyond New York State to other
According to OFN, other CDFIs committed to the expansion of community
health initiatives include the Low Income
Investment Fund and The Reinvestment Fund.
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