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Four organizations selected for Healthy Futures Fund Planning Grants

Health, Social Investment Practice

The Kresge Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are awarding four organizations planning grants as part of the Healthy Futures Fund (HFF). A collaboration between LISC, Morgan Stanley and Kresge, Healthy Futures Fund is a $200-million loan fund that expands housing opportunities and improves access to quality health care and programs that support health in low-income communities across the nation through the availability of capital. The planning grants will support Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in developing plans that lead to future investments.

The four organizations receiving planning grants are:

Esperanza is proposing to build a clinic in Brighton Park and partner with Mujeres Latina En Accion youth services. Esperanza and MLEA will work together to educate parent, teens and school administrators about both primary care services and youth programming that will be offered at the clinic.

Avenue Community Development Corporation will construct a new facility in the Near Northside in partnership with Legacy Community Health and provide on-site programs such as homeownership and financial capability, community building, resident services and early childhood development in addition to providing primary and pediatric care.

First Choice Community Healthcare will undertake a planning process to expand the existing South Valley Health Commons campus to include health-promoting enterprises such as workforce training, the Health Leadership High School, an early childhood development center, a food hub and farm and more. First Choice Community Healthcare will work with partners to create a combination of clinical services and social enterprises will result in a wellness ecosystem for the community.

Blackstone Valley Community Health Care is developing a Central Falls Neighborhood Health Station as part of the Health Equity Zone, an initiative of the Rhode Island Department of Health and Centers of Disease Control that addresses health disparities for residents of the Central Falls and Pawtucket neighborhoods. The station will allow Blackstone Valley to care for an additional 10,000 patients and have an office that acts as a one-stop shop of resources for housing, immigrant services, financial planning and more.

Prior to receiving the planning grants, the organizations were part of a cohort of 10 health centers that participated in the Healthy Futures Fund readiness program, a free program sponsored by LISC and Kresge that provides technical assistance to prime centers for additional investment.

“These organizations are demonstrating innovative solutions to helping their community residents become healthy in all aspects of their life,” said Chris Kabel, deputy director of Kresge’s Health Program. “The Healthy Futures Fund creates a great opportunity for health centers to engage with community partners and work together to improve opportunities for health. These projects all have the potential to address social determinants of health and exemplify the type of ground breaking work that Healthy Futures Fund was established to finance.”

All organizations that participated in the HFF readiness program were collaborative efforts between health centers and community partners that expanded access to health care while also addressing at least one other critical community need such as affordable housing, access to health food, job training, schools, elder care or other community wellness projects.

“We were really impressed with the group of health centers that completed the readiness program,” said Emily Chen, national program director for the Healthy Futures Fund. “The level of planning and partnership demonstrated by these organizations show a commitment by health centers to aggressively address the social determinants of health.”

Since its launch in 2013, the HFF has used New Markets Tax Credit and Low Income Housing Tax Credits financing to invest in ground-breaking projects that serve as models for unique ways that FQHCs collaborate with partners to improve the health of their communities. The HFF has supported facilities with the primary care capacity to serve 114,000 patients and also financed 535 health-focused and health care enriched housing units, such as assisted living housing for seniors.

The Healthy Futures Fund is supported by jointly by The Kresge Foundation’s Health Program and Social Investment Practice. The Health Program works to reduce health disparities among children and adults by addressing conditions that lead to poor health outcomes. The Social Investment Practice uses loans, loan guarantees and deposits in support of Kresge program goals.