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Hancock Whitney Finances Expansion of Community Health Clinics in Central Florida

August 19, 2021
Tim Coop
Tim Coop

Community Health Centers are a vital part of the safety net for low-income and vulnerable populations, who otherwise could go without any health care. In Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties, Central Florida Health Care (CFHC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the uninsured, underinsured migrants as well as many individuals who live in areas where there is little or no access to primary health care.


CFHC has 14 community health centers that provide medical, dental, behavioral health, and OB/GYN services as well as a full laboratory and x-ray technology. CFHC’s 500 employees -- physicians, APRN’s, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and laboratory/X-ray technicians and support staff -- deliver services to more than 55,000 patients each year.


Over the last several years, CFHC expanded by adding new community health centers to meet the growing needs in the three-county service area. Working with Hancock Whitney Bank for financing was essential.


“Hancock Whitney’s financial support has allowed us to apply for loans, lines of credit and financial assistance on a New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) project to expand our growth to serve more people who desperately need health care,” said Ann Claussen, CEO of CFHC.


More specifically, Claussen and her executive management team worked with Brian Boyce, Senior Vice President and Market Executive of Polk County for Hancock Whitney on an $8.5 million New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) project to open additional clinics and purchase equipment to expand services. The results include building a new community health center in Wauchula (Highlands County), adding a new community health center in Davenport (Polk County) and looking at additional expansion of services in Winter Haven and Lakeland (Polk County).


“Growing nonprofits and businesses need access to loan decision-makers who live in the same town and take the time to understand a client’s business goals and potential,” said Boyce, referring to Hancock Whitney Bank having senior executives with major loan decision-making authority in the greater Tampa Bay region.


“Local decision-making allows me to move more quickly and efficiently than if I were trying to educate an out-of-state credit approver who doesn’t know our region,” he said. In addition, local decision-making also helps the bank deliver on its value to customers: Providing the power and sophistication of a large bank with the feel and decision-making structure of a smaller bank, according to Boyce.


Hancock Whitney’s middle market and commercial bankers work with clients on a range of business financing needs, whether it’s getting a loan, preparing a business to be eligible for funding, or getting referrals to professionals such as accountants or lawyers. To learn more about getting a business loan or establishing a relationship with Hancock Whitney, visit hancockwhitney.com.