December 2, 2010

Reed & Whitehouse Announce Nearly $3 Million to Develop Nation’s First “Green and Smart” Community Health Center in South Providence

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today announced that the Providence Community Health Center (PCHC) will receive nearly $3 million in federal funding to build the nation’s first “green and smart” community health center in South Providence and create sustainable jobs for local residents. This project is estimated to create 150 jobs and leverage $30 million in private investment.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding $2.99 million to support construction of a state-of-the-art health center at the former Federated Lithographers site at 369 Prairie Avenue. Construction is already underway on this new building, which will be a crucial part of a $38 million project to redevelop the site — which covers an entire city block and has long been inactive — into part of a larger urban industrial park that also provides commercial and retail operations as well as green-space.

“This is a great example of a public-private partnership that will create jobs, boost economic development, and expand health services for families in South Providence. This new facility will not only provide a much needed state-of-the-art health center, it will also be the anchor institution that will spur economic development in the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce. “I congratulate all the individuals and organizations who are working to make this project a reality, particularly Merrill Thomas, CEO of PCHC, whose tireless efforts have helped move this project forward.”

“This funding will expand low cost health services to Rhode Islanders, create badly needed jobs, and continue our health centers’ leadership on improving the quality of our health care,” said Whitehouse. “This federal investment could not come at a better time for our state.”

“Providence Community Health Centers commends Senators Reed and Whitehouse for their efforts in securing $2.9 million for our organization’s construction of a new health center on Prairie Avenue in South Providence. Senator Reed has been a tireless advocate of our project and we thank him on behalf of the many patients who will benefit from this project. We also commend the Economic Development Administration’s commitment to Rhode Island and their investment in the future economic emergence and creation of new jobs in one of Providence’s most economically distressed neighborhoods,” said Merrill R. Thomas, CEO of PCHC.

In addition to this federal funding, Reed and Whitehouse previously helped secure $600,000 in Brownfield grants to clean up the site; $500,000 in pre-development EDA funding; and $400,000 in the FY 2010 Appropriations bill for facilities and equipment.


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