Tri-City Health Center: Financing New Health Care Access for Low-Income Residents

By Katherine Groves & Daniel Ramirez, Loan Originations Team

When Tri-City Health Center (TCHC) opened in Fremont, CA in 1970, it was one of just a handful of clinics serving low-income, minority women from Fremont and the neighboring Alameda county cities of Union City and Hayward.

Tri-City staff member works with medical samples

Since its founding more than 40 years ago, the Tri-City has expanded to include four health clinics, a dedicated dental site, and a mobile health clinic. Together, these sites serve more than 23,500 patients from Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Newark, and San Leandro. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), the clinic’s mission is to provide medical and behavioral health care for patients covered by MediCal and other programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) umbrella.

Implementation of the ACA has required FQHCs in California to meet a growing demand for services. Tri-City saw an opportunity to meet that demand, but that effort required a significant expansion of its clinic.

That two-step process began with purchasing an existing two-story, 20,000 square foot property in downtown Fremont. To secure the necessary financing, we worked with the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), a partner Community Development Financial Institution. Each organization put in half of the needed $6 million loan in December of 2015.

Now that TCHC owns the building, it needs to complete a major renovation to turn the building into a state-of-the-art medical clinic. Once again we joined with NFF to provide another $2 million in financing to support that effort, with each of us contributing $1 million.

Our Healthier California Fund loan was a perfect source for the capital we needed. We debuted this fund in early 2016 to support health centers and clinics serving low-income patients in California, and to bolster the state’s efforts to meet ACA requirements in new and innovative ways. This project represents our first transaction through the fund!

As a bonus, using the Fund to deliver the Tri-City Health Center financing allowed us to provide a lower interest rate, and helped them put more of their money into services instead of paying off the loan. This deal is win-win-win for them, their patients, and Capital Impact’s mission-driven lending efforts.

Map of Tri-City sites in Alameda County, CAThere is a lot to like about this project: the new clinic will have ten exam rooms and ten dental exam rooms, and the expansion will allow TCHC to see 8,000 new patients annually. Almost all of these patients are low-income and approximately 70% are Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

The clinic is strategically located near Five Corners, where many people in the area already shop and work. With free parking and access to multiple public transit routes, the clinic will be easily accessible.

Improving healthcare for local families

This increase in clinic capacity can only improve the care for patients like Maria Guizar, who sought treatment at TCHC for her son Armando’s asthma after several trips to the emergency room failed to provide him relief.

“They referred him to a specialist and thanks to all the treatment, now Armando can play and be a healthy kid. I am very happy with services of TCHC. All the staff has treated me and my family well. Dr. Mogri even tries to speak Spanish and I like that she makes an effort to communicate with me.”

Staff at the clinic speak 20 languages, a necessity in the ethnically-diverse Bay Area. More than a third of the clinic’s patients speak a language other than English, including Maria, who is a native Spanish speaker. Her appointments are attended by a translator so that Maria and Armando get the best health care possible.

“Armando’s condition was making me lose sleep. His condition would have worsened if I had not found Dr. Mogri and TCHC. Dr. Mogri has helped me to improve the life of my family.”

Tri-City has already had a tremendous impact on the area’s low-income residents who otherwise would not have access to quality health care. This expansion makes them that much stronger. That is why all of us at Capital Impact are proud to be part of this project.