From Soup to Nuts
Recently, HFS teamed up with The Neenan Company of Ft. Collins, CO to conduct a comprehensive market planning and financial feasibility study as well as architectural planning and design work for a clinic in Iowa. The clinic, Linn Community Care (LCC), is a Section 330 FQHC clinic in Cedar Rapids, IA.
As a result of the devastating floods in Cedar Rapids in June of 2008 which drew national attention, their clinic was destroyed and consequently moved to a much smaller space. While eventually LCC was planning on replacing their clinic, the flood put their plans into high gear. The Clinic is applying for FIP (Facility Investment Program) funds made possible for Section 330 community health centers (CHC) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. CHCs throughout the country are competing for approximately $515 million in one-time facility improvement grants, so the timing to complete our study was crucial in order for LCC to submit their application on time.
HFS’s part of the study was not only to project the demand for clinic visits by type (Medical, OB, Dental, etc.), but to also examine total market demand for clinic services in the Clinic’s service area. Part of our due diligence was to evaluate how realistic the Clinic’s physician recruitment plans were in light of market conditions and stiff competition for primary care physicians. Based on our market and clinic demand projections, HFS also prepared a rigorous debt capacity study for the clinic.
Our work was the foundation for the architectural design work completed by Neenan Archistruction. Our demand projections helped to justify the number of exam rooms planned for the new clinic and our financial feasibility work helped the clinic understand how much debt they could afford and how much money they would have to seek through capital markets and fundraising efforts.
The culmination of this work was the “Design Charrette,” a one and one half day planning meeting at Neenan’s headquarters in Fort Collins to refine planning for the Clinic. The meeting was attended by management executives and Board members from LCC, Neenan design staff, and HFS representatives, Randy Grossman, Ph.D., Manager and Tammy Staeden, Director of the Financial Feasibility Department for HFS.
As the meeting progressed we were able to make changes to our financial feasibility model in “real time” as functional and space planning assumptions and considerations for the project changed as a result of the group interaction. Using their software, Neenan personnel adjusted their functional and space plans of the proposed site by changing the number of exam rooms or other layout considerations to accommodate client expectations. This process allowed all participants to gauge impacts more efficiently. The Charrette was very effective; at the end of the meeting the LCC group expressed how pleased they were with the process, and they were able to meet their grant application deadline. This project is representative of the flexibility and collaborative teamwork HFS regularly demonstrates with its clients. If you have questions or wish to learn more about our Feasibility Services call either Randy Grossman at (510) 768-0066 extension 310 or Steve Rousso, Vice President of Licensing and Clinic services, at extension 224.