$5.5M USDA loan allows La Pine health center to buy facility, plan for future

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is investing $5.5 million in a La Pine nonprofit health clinic that provides essential primary care access for underserved areas of Central Oregon, announced

“In rural communities, residents often have limited options for accessing health care, so maintaining existing clinics is essential,” said State Director John Huffman. “This funding will ensure that affordable primary care services continue to be available to a large number of remote residents in central Oregon.”

The La Pine Community Health Center provides primary health care services to La Pine, north to Sunriver, south to Crescent, and east to Christmas Valley.

The health center is located in a 19,558-square-foot building, which was built in 1995 and renovated in 2016.

The facility meets the clinic’s needs by providing offices, exam rooms, a lab, and a waiting area, with a parking lot located on the property for both customers and employees.

It includes space for two private businesses, a pharmacy and a physical therapy office, which sublet the space.

However, the nonprofit did not own the facility and its lease costs were subject to change.

“We knew that in the future, if someone were to purchase this building and property, that there is the potential that we may have to move at some point,” said La Pine Community Health Center Public Relations Courtney Ignazzitto.

With the help of a $5.5 million loan provided by USDA Rural Development, the La Pine Community Health Center purchased the facility, stabilizing its financial obligations by locking in its real estate expenses and helping it plan for the future.

“We will begin building in the near future and be able to hopefully announce to the community what they can expect,” said Ignazzitto. “What services they can expect to be brought to La Pine.”

This investment will ensure that the more than 22,000 residents in the clinic’s rural service area continue to have access to quality, affordable health care for years to come.

“It is important to us that we be able to provide those services for the long haul,” Ignazzitto said. “We want to be here for a long time.”

The funding is being provided through USDA’s Community Facilities Program and is contingent upon the borrower meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

This program provides loans and grants to build or repair essential community facilities like hospitals and schools in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

The funding can also be used to purchase equipment for these facilities.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas.

This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.

Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/or.

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