Bank of America Commits $40 Million to Expand Access to Primary Health Care
To increase access to health care services in medically underserved communities, Bank of America has committed $40 million in low-cost, long-term capital to finance the development and expansion of community health care centers and other primary care facilities across the United States. Bank of America will partner with non-profit community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to distribute the funding. In addition, Bank of America will provide $100,000 in philanthropic grants to help with CDFI operational costs and help spark the creation of new health centers.
Today’s $40 million capital commitment is just one example of Bank of America’s work to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, and builds on the company’s recent $25 million collaboration with leading health organizations. Bank of America has convened the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society and the University of Michigan School of Public Health for an innovative, signature initiative to improve health outcomes in communities of color.
“Increased investment in primary care improves health outcomes by making primary care more accessible and affordable, and by expanding the health care workforce to provide the services people need in the communities where they live and work,” said Ebony Thomas, Bank of America Charitable Foundation President. “Improved health and financial stability are integrally linked. Enabling access to quality medical care drives greater economic mobility and builds stronger communities.”
Primary care providers are anchors in their communities, providing both essential services and employment. Primary care – focused on the whole person, integrated with mental health and substance use services – leads to better health for people and their communities, and reduces the burden of chronic disease. The value is evident: An increase of just one primary care physician for every 10,000 people leads to 5.5% fewer hospital visits, 11% fewer emergency department visits, 7% fewer surgeries, and is associated with a 51.5 day increase in life expectancy. 1, 2
Bank of America will provide low-cost capital to several CDFI partners, including Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC). To date, PCDC has financed more than $1.34 billion in primary care projects through direct investment and leverage. Such investments support facility acquisition and renovation, program and practice transformation, operating support, service line growth, and technology acquisition. PCDC strengthens service delivery through training and technical assistance and advocates for meaningful policy change to improve primary care financing, reimbursement, service delivery, and workforce training and pipeline development. Over the last 30 years, through a combination of financing and technical assistance, the organization has created and preserved more than 18,000 jobs while impacting millions of people.
“The capital provided by Bank of America will enable PCDC to better serve health care providers nationwide, especially in communities of color and rural and low-income communities, which all too often struggle to access primary care,” said Louise Cohen, PCDC’s chief executive officer. "These dollars will have meaningful impact on primary care access and health equity. One of our first anticipated projects is to fund a much-needed Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in a Florida community that is almost entirely low income and where more than half of residents live in public housing."
While further locations are to be determined, additional CDFIs receiving capital as part of this initiative include the following CDFI partners:
Of the $40 million commitment, $10 million will go to additional CDFIs to encourage others to enter the space of financing the development of primary care facilities.
Bank of America is the largest private investor in CDFIs in the U.S., with a portfolio of loans, deposits and investments in CDFIs exceeding $2 billion. Since 2021, Bank of America has invested more than $66 million to address needs related to health in the communities it serves. This includes local giving across its 93 markets, an expanded partnership with CVS Health to deliver free flu vaccine vouchers to underserved communities, continuing work with Feeding America nationally and locally to address barriers to healthy eating and supporting mental health initiatives for young people of color.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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Vanessa Cook, Bank of America
2 Sanjay Basu, et al. Association of Primary Care Physician Supply with Population Mortality in the United States, 2005-2015. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2019:179(4), 506-514. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7624