California HealthCare, Kresge Foundations Launch Health Center Initiative

The Kresge and California HealthCare foundations have announced a new initiative to invest in companies that serve community health centers.

Through the Partnering for Impact initiative, the two foundations will invest at least $5 million over three years in companies which offer technology- or service-based solutions that enable community health centers and clinics to stretch their resources, increase patient access to care, and lower the cost of care. In addition to funding, companies selected to participate in the initiative will be paired with community health centers and clinics ready to implement new solutions as well as mentors experienced in community health-center management, technology, and public-payment issues. To be eligible for an investment, a company must be based in the U.S. and be able to demonstrate how its product or service can maintain or improve the patient experience while accomplishing one of the following goals: enhance health center efficiency by at least 20 percent, increase access to health services for a hundred thousand patients a year, or reduce costs by $25 million a year.

The partnership represents a widening of Kresge's social investment portfolio to include direct investments in companies and a broadening of CHCF's pipeline to include companies that do not yet operate in California. The foundations will share due diligence, advisory activities, and legal costs.

"Through this initiative we want to identify and invest in companies that bring value to health centers and their patients," said Margaret Laws, director of CHCF's Innovations for the Underserved program. "We are looking for companies that already serve health centers and are ready to scale, as well as those that are interested in moving into that market."