Camarena Health- Los Banos Clinic

Camarena Health - Los Banos Clinic

Merced County, CA

NCIF has closed on the financing for the Camarena Health Los Banos Clinic, placing $5.5MM in New Markets Tax Credit allocation and $4MM gross amount of loans booked, including $2MM NCIF debt financing. The new 16,000 square foot clinic will be located in the City of Los Banos, CA, in California’s Central Valley. Camarena Health, is a federally qualified health center, operating 18 clinics in Madera County, where they are the largest provider of primary health care.

The Los Banos clinic will be Camarena’s first in Merced County. Merced County faces significant healthcare challenges. Compared to the rest of California, the region has significantly higher rates of all-cause mortality, chronic diseases (including heart disease, diabetes, and asthma), psychological distress, and other societal health issues such as teen pregnancies. These problems are made worse by the healthcare shortage in the region, which has earned the region a designation as a Medically Underserved Area (MUA) and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). Merced County recently ranked 43rd out of 59 California counties on Primary Care Physician (PCP) to patient ratio. Like much of the Central Valley, Merced County is heavily Hispanic, a population with that struggles with access to affordable health care. Across all its clinic operations, Camarena serves over 59,525 unique patients per year, and employs 498 staff (of which 89% are minority). From 2017 to 2021, Camarena added 19,452 new unique patients, representing a 35.3% growth rate.

Project Impact

Economic Justice

  • The clinic will help address the shortage of medical resources in Merced County and serve a predominantly minority population.
  • The Los Banos Clinic is projected to create 59 full time jobs that are high wage health care positions and 135 full-time construction jobs.
    • Of the 135 construction jobs, 80% are expected to be filled by low-income people or residents of the low-income community. For the permanent jobs, Camarena Health anticipates a majority of the positions at the clinic will be accessible to those that face barriers to employment—including the disabled, formerly/currently homeless, or formerly incarcerated.

Racial Justice

  • The Los Banos clinic will serve over 10,500 unique community members, expected to be74% Minority and 87% Low-Income) through various health programs, and will provide over 51,500 patient medical visits annually in the Medically Underserved Area.
  • 63% of Merced County population is Hispanic and has higher rates of health challenge and lower access to health insurance.
  • The construction of the clinic will create 135 full-time jobs, of which 70% are expected to be filled by minorities. In addition, 50% of the construction subcontractors are expected to be minority owned or controlled.

NCIF Capital Allocation

$5.5MM NMTC allocation
$4MM loan booked including $2MM loan participation

Debt Partners

CDFI Partners:

Community Bank of the Bay $2MM debt participation
City First Bank $10.5MM co-lender (together with City First Enterprises, the bank’s CDFI)

NMTC Partners

Urban Research Park, $9MM allocation

New Markets Community Capital/TELACU, $10MM allocation