Mercy Loan Fund Celebrates Opening of Orthopedic Institute in Gulf Opportunity Zone

Mercy Loan Fund, a subsidiary of Mercy Housing Inc., and a joint venture between Forrest General Hospital and Southern Bone and Joint Specialists announced today that nearly two years after receiving a $20 Million allocation of New Market Tax Credit to build a new Orthopedic Institute, the facility is set to be ready for patients in October 2012.

The new specialized facility will offer more than 74,000 square feet of newly constructed space for outpatient and inpatient orthopedic care including 30-beds, making it easier for patients and their family members to get the orthopedic care they need. At over $30 million total development cost, the facility was financially feasible with the assistance of New Market Tax Credits and Mercy Loan Fund.

“Mercy Loan Fund is pleased to partner with Forrest General Hospital and Southern Bone and Joint Specialists to offer residents of this medically underserved region a state-of- the-art orthopedic care facility that will see more than 1,400 new patients in its first year of operation,” stated Julie Gould, President of Mercy Loan Fund.  “The U.S. Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit Program made this facility possible. Forrest General Hospital provides $78 million in charity care annually to 19 medically underserved counties, and could not have otherwise financed a project of this scale. Mercy Loan Fund’s strategy of “Rebuilding Healthy Communities” aligns well with Treasury’s goals for the program, and we hope to see it renewed by Congress soon so more communities can benefit.”

“This new medical facility is the latest example of how the NMTC program is supporting entrepreneurs and community development projects in the region,” said HOPE CEO Bill Bynum.  “Since the program’s inception, we have seen the tremendous impact that NMTC funding can have on attracting capital to communities that need it most.”

In addition to the 30 licensed orthopedic beds, the facility features orthopedic operating rooms, pre-operative and recovery rooms, as well as support services such as physical therapy, laboratory and diagnostic imaging services. The facility will create 189 permanent jobs for local residents, in addition to the hundreds of construction jobs already helping jump-start the local economy. With all of these services housed under one roof, The Orthopedic Institute will truly be a one-stop location for orthopedic care for south Mississippi.

The public is invited to attend a community Open House for The Orthopedic Institute on Sunday, September 23 from 2 – 4 p.m to take a tour of the facility.

About Mercy Loan Fund
Mercy Loan Fund, a subsidiary of the national affordable housing organization Mercy Housing, provides financing to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations, enabling them to build or preserve affordable housing in their communities.  To date, Mercy Loan Fund has made 435 loans in 37 states totaling $213 million.  Loans are made for both new development and preservation of housing for low-income people.  These loans have leveraged over $1.5 billion in total development funding.  Mercy Loan Fund is certified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).  Mercy Loan Fund was formed with the goal of supporting the mission of Mercy Housing by making loans for affordable housing developments when conventional financing is not possible or affordable.  For more information about Mercy Loan Fund, please visit http://www.mercyloanfund.org.

About Mercy Housing
Mercy Housing, a national not-for-profit affordable housing organization headquartered in Denver, has a presence in 43 states, serves nearly 140,000 people on any given day and has participated in the development, financing or operation of more than 41,700 homes. Mercy Housing serves families, seniors and people with special needs (formerly homeless, people with HIV/AIDS and the developmentally disabled). For more information about Mercy Housing, please visit http://www.mercyhousing.org.

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