One of two major projects approved by the Missouri Development Finance Board recently was financing for a downtown Kansas City health facility.

The funding is helping to build a clinic that’s a partnership between the YMCA and Truman Medical Center, which is a leading safety net hospital in the Midwest region.  Truman President and CEO Charlie Shields says the operation will offer treatment of specific health conditions through medicine and prevention.

“This is a project designed to provide health improvement particularly around chronic disease management, people that have diabetes, COP (cryptogenic organizing pneumonia), congestive heart failure, issues like that,” said Shields.  “(We’re) working closely with the Y on both nutrition and then exercise programs designed to improve the health of that population.”

The $30 million facility is being constructed in downtown Kansas City to serve people in zip codes that represent the most underserved portions of the community.

Shields notes the 4,000-square foot clinic with 11 full time medical providers is very similar to another partnership between the hospital and fitness center at another inner city location.  “With the YMCA in Kansas City, we’re actually building a 7,000-square foot clinic adjacent to the YMCA with connections.  And then the idea is the very same thing.”

The other joint effort will be located at the YMCA’s Linwood location in the southeast side of Kansas City.

The funding through the Missouri Development Finance Board will provide tax credits to incentivize private contributions.  $4 million in tax credits will be used to draw down $8 million in private investment.  If a person contributes $1,000 to the project, they’ll get a $500 credit against their Missouri income taxes.

Shields says the clinic is intended to establish preventive health care in an effort to curb excessive hospital costs for patient care.

“If you look at the United State, we spend close to 18% of our gross domestic product on health care, which is a huge amount,” Shields said.  “It’s second in the world in the industrialized nations.  But our health outcomes are eleventh in the world.  So clearly we’re spending a lot of money on the back end of health and not on the front end of health.”

Truman Medical Centers handles a disproportionate number of low income people.  It provides 12% of all uncompensated care in Missouri, which makes it the largest health care provider for people without insurance or government assistance in the state.

Shields is a former Republican President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate from St. Joseph.

The $4 million approval by the Development Finance Board came at the same time the board agreed to provide $4.6 million to assist Nucor Corporation in bringing 255 new jobs with a projected $65,000 annual salary per employee to west-central Missouri’s Pettis County.

Republican Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson, who sits on the board, released a statement praising the moves.

“It was a great day for both rural and urban Missouri,” said Lieutenant Governor, Mike Parson.  “When you assist in bringing 255 new jobs to Pettis County that pay above the average median income of the area, plus help the physical and medical needs of low income children and families, is a good day.”

The 12-member panel meets 12 times a year and administers a range of financing programs for Missouri business, local governments and state agencies.