There has long been a disparity in the access of health care services for underserved communities.
To address this, Bank of America has announced that it is committing $40 million to increase access to health care services and finance the development and expansion of community health care centers and other primary care facilities across the United States.
“Increased investment in primary care improves health outcomes by making primary care more accessible and affordable, and by expanding the health care workforce to provide the services people need in the communities where they live and work,” said Ebony Thomas, President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, in a statement.
She also said that improved health and financial stability are integrally linked.
“Enabling access to quality medical care drives greater economic mobility and builds stronger communities,” added Thomas.
Bank of America will partner with non-profit community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to distribute the funding. It will also provide $100,000 in philanthropic grants to help with CDFI operational costs and help spark the creation of new health centers.
One of its partners includes Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), which has financed more than $1.34 billion in primary care projects through direct investment and leverage. This has led to facility acquisition and renovation, program and practice transformation, operational support, service line growth, tech acquisition and more. Through all its work, PCDC has created and preserved more than 18,000 jobs while impacting millions of people over the last 30 years.
“The capital provided by Bank of America will enable PCDC to better serve health care providers nationwide, especially in communities of color and rural and low-income communities, which all too often struggle to access primary care,” said Louise Cohen, PCDC’s chief executive officer, in a statement.
Another CDFI partner is Philadelphia-based CDFI, The Reinvestment Fund, which has provided more than $2.4 billion in financing to strengthen neighborhoods, scale social enterprises, and build resilient communities.
The new $40 million capital commitment is just one example of Bank of America’s work to advance racial equity and economic opportunity, and builds on the company’s recent $25 million collaboration with leading health organizations, including the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society and the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Of the $40 million commitment, $10 million will go to additional CDFIs to encourage others to enter the space of financing the development of primary care facilities.
The partnerships are all done with an eye toward improving health outcomes in communities of color, while prioritizing primary care access and health equity.
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