PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is investing $5.5 million through a loan to the La Pine Community Health Center a nonprofit health clinic that provides essential primary care access for underserved areas of Central Oregon, State Director John Huffman announced Thursday.
"In rural communities, residents often have limited options for accessing health care, so maintaining existing clinics is essential," said 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 the rural town of 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 constructed 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.
The facility also 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.
With the help of a $5.5 million loan provided by USDA Rural Development, the La Pine Community Health Center has purchased the facility, stabilizing its financial obligations by locking in its real estate expenses and helping it plan for the future.
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, Huffman said.
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.
Public bodies, nonprofits, and federally-recognized tribes are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted year-round.
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.