Good health is essential to sustainable development, and is a cornerstone of LISC’s comprehensive approach to investing. LISC has long recognized that conditions where people live, work, visit, do business and raise families impact a wide range of health and quality of life risks and outcomes. These factors, known as the social determinants of health, constitute 80 to 90 percent of factors affecting health outcomes for a population, with medical care contributing just 10 to 20 percent, and can contribute to a wide range of racial health disparities and inequities.

A key pillar in the social determinants is access to health care, and individuals from racial or ethnic minority groups in the US are disproportionately affected by lack of access to quality health care, health insurance, and/or linguistically responsive healthcare. Through investment in community health centers and other service facilities, LISC expands access to affordable healthcare to historically underserved populations. Community Health Centers provide primary medical services to close to 30 million people at over 14,000 sites in urban and rural communities across the country. CHCs deliver a broad array of primary and preventive care services to patients, including dental, vision, mental health, and drug treatment services. CHCs primarily serve low-income residents—many of whom lack access to health insurance—and they provide these services regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

You can see that through our project supporting the expansion of HealthCore Clinic, a federally qualified health center serving residents of Wichita, Kansas. HealthCore Clinic was created in 1998 by a grassroots community movement in northeast Wichita to address the rising health disparities and unmet need for health care for its low-income residents. The core founders raised $1 million to purchase the original building through a combination of a door-to-door fundraising campaign along with larger donations from business, foundations, churches and other vested organizations. In 2016, the clinic sought financing from LISC and other partners to expand and renovate its main clinic site into a 41,000 square foot facility serving upwards of 20,000 patients per year.

Read the full article about investing in community health centers by Anna Smukowski at LISC.