New center for Milwaukee’s Progressive CHC doubles capacity, creates jobs February 1, 2015

Patients at Milwaukee’s Progressive Community Health Centersface two-month wait times for medical and dental appointments. To meet increasing demand, Progressive CHC is doubling capacity with a new facility at its Lisbon Avenue Clinic site. By 2018, Progressive CHC will bring annual patient visits up to 60,722 and add at least 35 full-time positions, bringing the total to 100 full-time employees.

A grand opening will be held February 20 for the clinic, whose 42,000-square-feet space will include 24 primary care suites and six OB/GYN suites, 13 dental rooms, and a health education center for its mostly African-American clientele, among other services. Progressive CHC is a much-needed resource in an area deemed one of the city’s top 10 zip codes for high rates of poverty and low number of physicians.

“IFF has been a great partner on this project, which will improve access to needed services for an underserved population, which is an important factor in eliminating health disparities,” said Jenni Sevenich, chief executive officer of Progressive CHC. “IFF has been a great financial partner on this project.”

IFF sourced financing for the nearly $12 million project—including packaging the new markets tax credits and managing the transaction from start to finish—which closed in November. IFF also was the sole source of the $1.1 million permanent loan, which many financial institutions often find challenging on NMTC projects because they cannot use the property as collateral. The tax credit allocation came from the Low Income Investment Fund and The Reinvestment Fund, with Chase Bank as the NMTC investor. Another source of funding was a grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

Progressive CHC operates two locations in Milwaukee’s central city, with Lisbon Avenue Clinic as its primary site. The clinic has been an important partner in a plan to improve quality of life, affordable housing stock, and health among residents in the Washington Park neighborhood.

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