The Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corp., well known for aiding affordable housing projects, is now helping four nonprofit community groups develop health care programs that will provide affordable medical care--and jobs.
This new support for health care services is a logical extension of LISC's approach to rebuilding disadvantaged communities block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood. Funded by the Ford Foundation, LISC has attracted significant private investment to help neighborhood groups develop housing. Although the new housing improves the areas, residents also need jobs and services.
The Los Angeles LISC, which was established in 1987, started a $2.54-million health sector initiative just before the county health care crisis. The timing was perfect because the county--the health care provider of last resort for the poor and uninsured--was forced by budget pressures to cut services.
With LISC's help, New Economics for Women (NEW) will acquire a cancer detection facility just west of downtown. After renovations, NEW expects to lease it to a local hospital or a private physicians group so it can be operated as a primary care facility. The incentive is the higher Medicare and Medi-Cal fees allowed in medically undeserved areas. Residents of the nearby Pico-Union and Westlake areas also will benefit.