May, 2023 – Community Hospitality Healthcare Services (“CHHS”) deployed $9,000,000 in New Markets Tax Credit (“NMTC”) allocation to Northwest Florida Community Hospital Inc. (”Chipley Hospital”) to finance the construction and purchase equipment to outfit a new 14,000 square foot surgical center in Washington County, FL. The new surgery unit will address an infrastructure deficit in the region that had become a bottleneck that limited the Critical Access Hospital in providing essential inpatient and outpatient services to individuals and families in this rural, medically underserved area.
The $10.6 million project includes the addition of advanced, state-of-the-art surgical equipment and modernized facilities. Over the past couple of years, Chipley Hospital reported a 33% increase in surgical procedure demand, primarily for orthopedic and pediatric dentistry services. With increased capacity, Chipley Hospital will expand services to include Ear Nose Throat, Urology, Podiatry, and other types of critical surgeries. The establishment of an improved and operationally efficient surgical unit addresses major health disparities in the rural, low-income community. The hospital had been at surgical capacity with no ability to meet additional demand in the community. Upon completion, the project will serve serving 2,251 unduplicated surgery patients annually, representing a 19% increase in capacity, which will meet the immediate forecasted demand in the community.
“We are grateful to be in a position to support Chipley Hospital in its establishment of a new surgical unit,” commented CHHS founder and Executive Director Ben Cirka, “CHHS understands the importance of mitigating health disparities in low-income communities, especially in rural areas where access to quality medical services is scarce.”
CHHS specializes in investing in healthcare facilities located in low-income areas that are medically underserved throughout the country. To date, CHHS has been awarded more than $490MM in NMTC allocation to healthcare related projects, which supported job creation and retention and provide access to quality affordable healthcare and extended services to more than 600,000 low-income persons annually.