Boone County Health Center administration will be working with the U.S, Department of Agriculture on a possible future construction project.
The health center board of directors approved a motion last Tuesday evening, July 24, to begin exploring financing options with USDA, which invests in rural health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics and treatment centers through its Community Facilities Direct Loan program. Last year, USDA invested more than $1 billion in health care facilities in 41 states.
“We want to explore our options, because we have facility needs, and the department has financing available now at attractive interest rates,” said Tanya Sharp, president and CEO of BCHC.
The process would begin with a site visit by state representatives on Aug. 6, and a feasibility study could start Aug. 8.
The potential project would include a new BCHC Clinic building, with the possibility of bringing all outpatient services into one area in stages. Once a new clinic facility is in use, the existing clinic area could be repurposed for the pharmacy, laboratory and dietary departments.
“My goal is to have a letter of commitment from USDA in hand by the end of September,” said Sharp. That would be needed in order to lock in current interest rates, and would involve meeting a variety of requirements.
Additional planning would continue after the letter of commitment is received.
Sharp said the plans considered several years ago for a new clinic building have now been shelved.
Read the complete story in the Aug. 1 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.