March 5, 2020

With California Expansion, PCDC Builds on History of Financing and Expanding Primary Care

The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) today announced its growing Los Angeles office, broadening a commitment to California’s primary care providers and practices.

By formally concentrating services — capital investment, performance improvement, and advocacy — in California, PCDC builds on its history of expanding primary care access in low-income, underserved communities throughout the state.

David Desai-Ramirez, PCDC’s newly appointed Senior Director/Western Region Market Leader, will lead business expansion and manage the office.

Meet the Los Angeles staff.

“Primary care is at the heart of health care,” said Louise Cohen, CEO of PCDC. “For nearly three decades, PCDC has shown the success of strategic and coordinated investment in primary care, alongside partners, funders, and policymakers. With David’s arrival and the opening of our Los Angeles office, we join a focused effort toward achieving health equity in California.”

The office is PCDC’s third, along with its New York headquarters and Washington, D.C., base.

The space is shared with the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), which represents nonprofit community clinics and health centers throughout Los Angeles County.

Since 1993, PCDC has leveraged more than $1.2 billion in underserved rural and urban communities nationwide. It has supported primary care practices and providers in 43 states as well as in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands through practice transformation training and technical support.

“PCDC is one of many dedicated organizations working to increase primary care access for all Californians,” Cohen said. “This collective expertise will help reinforce a shared goal: healthier, more equitable communities.”

PCDC’s Financing Options PCDC’s Capacity Building Services


Highlights: PCDC’s California Partnerships

Doubling Primary Care Capacity in Shasta County

Nearly 70 percent of patients served by the Shasta Community Health Center are on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In 2017, PCDC provided $9.8 million in financing for Shasta’s new 16,600-square-foot Anderson Family Health and Dental Center, north of Sacramento.

“The physical beauty of the facility has been a big help in our recruitment of providers,” Germano said.

Accommodating 25,000 visits a year for primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services, the new center is more than double the size of the previous location.

“PCDC understood our specific needs and requirements,” said Dean Germano, CEO of Shasta. “Our new facility provides greater access to essential high-quality health services, along with new jobs for the community.”


Bringing Health ‘Supercenters’ to the Central Coast of California

Meeting the community’s need for primary care services had become an urgent issue for Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc. (CHC). In both Lompoc and Paso Robles, the typical wait time was one month to see a general practitioner. A 60-day wait for dental appointments had become especially problematic in Lompoc, a designated “dental shortage” area.

“This means more Californians will have access to quality, affordable care they deserve,” CHC CEO Ronald Castle said.

The solution: construction of two new health care “supercenters,” utilizing $10 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation and a $7.31 million loan from PCDC.

When completed, both sites will serve a combined 29,000 patients, offering primary care, optometry, chiropractic care, mental health services, and more.

By adding 14 dental operatories and five additional dentists, CHC will also better meet the acute need for oral health services.


Transforming Care for Silicon Valley’s Underserved
“We have so many services now,” said Ravenswood CEO Luisa Buada. “It’s like a one-stop shop.”

The gleaming Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto provides comprehensive health care for a low-income population whose medical needs are often forgotten in the shadow of Silicon Valley.

Established in 2000, Ravenswood served about 12,900 patients out of modular buildings with limited space and services, making primary care visits difficult for those requiring multiple visits.

PCDC’s Performance Improvement team supported Ravenswood’s successful efforts to reinvent itself into a fully integrated patient-centered model of care.

Later, PCDC invested $7.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation and $850,000 in bridge loan financing for a new $40 million, 38,000-square-foot facility, doubling Ravenswood’s patient capacity.

The new facility features 58 exam rooms and 13 behavioral health counseling rooms as well as a laboratory, imaging and mammography services, optometry, and a pharmacy.

[Read a Q&A with CEO Luisa Buada.]


Partnering to Achieve PCMH Recognition in Central California
A growing body of evidence shows that the PCMH model improves health outcomes and reduce health care costs. (Photo courtesy of Altura)

One of the nearly 770 health centers to have achieved Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition through PCDC’s support is Altura Centers for Health.

A Federally Qualified Health Center, Altura provides a range of health care services in small cities and more rural areas with minimal access to hospitals. Its leaders turned to PCDC for help examining, improving, and transforming its patient-centered health care procedures.

The results — better patient outcomes, reduced costs, and enhanced primary care — yielded the highest level of PCMH recognition in seven of Altura’s eight sites.

Read more about PCDC’s services.