The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded two significant capital grants totaling $5.5 million to Care Alliance, a Federally Qualified Health Center serving Cleveland’s homeless and public housing residents.
The grants will fund construction of a new 20,000 square foot clinic on Cleveland’s east side in the Central Neighborhood, to be completed by fall 2014. In addition, Care Alliance will renovate its current space in Riverview Towers, a public housing high rise on West 25th in Ohio City, to be completed by spring 2013. Construction and renovation of these clinics will provide additional access to primary medical care, dental care, counseling and other supportive services while facilitating a patient-centered, comprehensive approach to health care.
“Public housing residents are often confined to their neighborhoods by barriers like lack of transportation and limited income, making it so important to provide as many services as possible under one roof,” said Francis Afram-Gyening, Chief Executive Officer of Care Alliance. “This funding will allow space to provide comprehensive health services to an additional 12,000 new patients, more than doubling our current reach.”
Total projected costs could reach nearly $8.5 million with the federal funds contributing only to capital development, including construction, renovation and equipment. Care Alliance will soon launch a capital campaign to raise the remaining $3 million in funds necessary to complete these projects.
This new investment brings both health and economic benefits to Greater Cleveland. Not only will it improve access to affordable health care for those in need but will also create short and long-term job opportunities.
“We are thrilled to receive this funding as a result of the Affordable Care Act,” said Jon Outcalt Jr., Chair of the Care Alliance Board of Trustees. “More people have been relying on the safety net for care, and this helps to position Care Alliance to respond to our patients’ needs now and in the future.”
A total of 171 health centers across the country received $629 million for capacity-building capital projects of up to $5 million; another 227 health centers received $99.3 million to fund immediate improvements to existing facilities of up to $500,000. Only three community health centers in Ohio received the $5 million grant, and four received the $500,000 grant. Care Alliance was the only health center in the state to be awarded both grants.
About Care Alliance
Care Alliance is a nonprofit, federally funded health center dedicated to serving the needs of homeless, public housing and uninsured residents of Cuyahoga County. In 2011, Care Alliance served more than 9,600 people, two-thirds of whom were homeless, and had 34,000 visits. Intensive outreach efforts and strong partnerships with other agencies allow Care Alliance to deliver medical care to people on the fringes of society.
What began in 1985 as Cleveland’s “Health Care for the Homeless” program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has grown to encompass primary medical care, comprehensive dental care and supportive services to address chronic homelessness and poverty in Cleveland. Through strategic partnerships with other safety net agencies, and through the support of foundations, corporations and residents of the community, Care Alliance continues to be a medical home for those who may not have a home. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, the organization is able to offer services to patients of all ages on a sliding fee scale based on income. More information about the organization can be found at www.carealliance.org.