March 1, 2021

Groundbreaking in Rural Louisiana for Primary Care and Behavioral Health Expansion

An underserved rural community in north-central Louisiana will soon have more access to integrated primary care and behavioral services, thanks to financing from the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC).

CommuniHealth Services, established as Morehouse Community Medical Centers Inc. in 2002, broke ground for its new state-of-the-art 41,000 square-foot facility in Bastrop. The $14.3 million project was financed through a combination of debt and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing provided by PCDC and partners.

The Federally Qualified Health Center will combine medical, dental, behavioral health, lab, pharmacy, x-ray and a host of enabling services all under one roof through the expansion and by consolidating three stand-alone sites – a family practice clinic, pediatric clinic, and administrative site.

“Sometimes it’s really hard for low-income patients in rural communities to get to larger cities, and so we want to provide care for them here at home,” said Katie Parnell [pictured], CEO of CommuniHealth Services. “High-quality care that’s affordable that’s easy for them to access. We know that patients have better outcomes when they can get care local in their communities that they live in.”

Bastrop is the parish seat of Morehouse Parish, which has notably less access to primary care and behavioral health services compared to state and national levels. Morehouse Parish has 33.3 primary care physicians per 100K population, compared to 64.5 in Louisiana, and 75.8 nationally, and the area is also considered a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

“Primary Care Development Corporation is proud to support this important project to enable Morehouse Community Medical Centers to expand CommuniHealth’s services in the Bastrop community and address the great need for primary care and other vital health services in north-central Louisiana,” said Anne Dyjak, PCDC’s Managing Director of Capital Investment. “We are pleased to support their growth and expansion as they continue to provide high-quality and affordable primary care to meet the needs of this community.”

Community Investment for Rural Health

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), PCDC has financed multiple rural health centers, whose services have allowed their communities to thrive. PCDC’s Capital Investment Practice invests in rural communities by providing advisory services and flexible, affordable capital to create lasting and sustainable impact for the organizations and the communities they serve.

Learn More