Vital Healthcare Capital, a nonprofit community-development financial institution, has started a $30 million loan fund to help nonprofits that provide medical care in low-income areas. The money is intended to provide better care to the most vulnerable patients and create quality health-care jobs.
"The organizations that we will lend to often don’t have the same access to financial resources that better endowed health systems do," said Steven Weingarten, chief executive of Vital Healthcare Capital.
The organization expects to use the new funds to support 10 to 20 projects at health-care charities.
Among the projects it’s considering are a primary-care organization that wants to expand its behavioral-health services, a mental-health provider that wants to start crisis services as a way to help patients avoid hospitalization, and a nonprofit that wants to provide care for children with autism in a neighborhood that lacks services for them.
Taking on those kinds of challenges requires an upfront investment in facilities, equipment, and information technology before the new services start generating income, said Mr. Weingarten.
The loan fund has attracted grants and investments from foundations like Atlantic Philanthropies and the Ford and JPMorgan Chase foundations as well as financial institutions, like Bank of America and MetLife, and health-care systems, like Dignity Health. Vital Healthcare’s goal is to grow the loan fund to $100 million over the next five years.
"We believe that investing during a period of change has the most impact," said Mr. Weingarten. "And now is clearly a moment of great change in health care."