October 6, 2023

Preserving Access to Needed Primary Care in Westchester County

In March 2023, PCDC provided a $4 million loan to Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center (MVNHC), an Article-28 Diagnostic and Treatment Center and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) founded, which operates eight sites within Westchester County. The loan bridged an $11.9 million grant awarded through the NY Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program, which will fund the renovation of the health center’s Mt. Vernon facility. The facility has not been renovated since it was first constructed in 1973. The upgraded facility will preserve access to needed primary care within the community and will allow MVNHC to improve customer and staff experience.

PCDC’s bridge loan (funded from PCDC’s NYS Revolving Loan Fund) will provide MVNHC with the upfront cash to pay for project costs in advance of receiving reimbursement from New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). The loan will support development costs associated with a variety of services, including repaving the parking area’ new insulation and roofing, new finishing on floors, walls, and ceilings, replacing the elevator, replacing rooftop NVAC units, and electrical and plumbing upgrades.

This project serves a great need in Mt. Vernon: the city is a Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)-designated Medically Underserved Area, and while it is located in Westchester County—one of the healthiest counties in New York State—the city experiences significant health disparities compared to the county as a whole. For example, according to the New York State Community Health Indicator Reports, the rate of preventable hospitalizations in Mt. Vernon (158 per 10,000 adults) is substantially higher than the rate in Westchester County (102 per 10,000 adults). This rate is highest in the zip code in which MVNHC is located (226.2 per 10,000 adults). The percentage of premature deaths in Mt. Vernon is 28.4% compared to Westchester’s rate of 18.8%. Residents of Mt. Vernon have twice the rate of diabetes (13.4% of adults) compared with Westchester County as a whole (7.6%) and a higher rate of high blood pressure (36.2%) compared to the county overall (28.9%).