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Lawndale Christian Health Center Unveils New Health and Fitness Center

Press Release | July 3rd, 2012

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First-of-a-kind West Side facility marks a turning point in community-wide healthcare

CHICAGO – Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC) is celebrating the opening of its new Health and Fitness Center, a state-of-the-art facility providing a safe and inviting public space for fitness, nutrition and medical care in the heart of Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood. Mayor Rahm Emanuel participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Center, alongside local, state and federal officials, as well as staff and supporters of LCHC.

Located at 3750 W. Ogden, the recently completed 60,000-square-foot Health and Fitness Center represents LCHC’s commitment to delivering high-quality medical care, while also facilitating wellness and community-building.
“With the new Health and Fitness Center, LCHC has created a new standard for improving the health of an urban low-income community. This model combines access to great clinical care with the key prevention tools of exercise, fitness, and wellness in an environment where community residents can affordably engage themselves to solve chronic health issues like obesity and diabetes,” said Bruce Miller, CEO of Lawndale Christian Health Center.

“This Center will create jobs and economic opportunity right in the Lawndale community and empower residents to take control of their health and wellness,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Facilities like this one promote a high quality of life for Chicagoans right in their own neighborhoods and increase the overall economic and social vitality of our communities.”

The Center’s fitness areas feature an indoor track, more than 100 cardio and strength machines, group fitness and youth exercise classes, as well as free, personalized exercise and weight loss programs. An affordable rate structure gives guests the option of joining the Center on a monthly membership basis as a family or individual, or on a daily use basis.

Upper floors of the Center feature clinic space offering comprehensive health care for women, as well as medical and dental care for children.

The Green Tomato Café, located on the building’s first floor, will offer freshly prepared healthy food options and a comfortable gathering space for community members and visitors to enjoy year-round.

“This beautiful new Health and Fitness Center, which provides the residents of Lawndale with access to high-quality healthcare, is testament to the importance of the New Markets Tax Credit Program. By connecting critically needed private capital with underserved communities, the New Markets Tax Credit Program enables projects to come to fruition that bring vital resources and significantly improve the quality of life for individuals and families across the nation,” said Donna J. Gambrell, Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which administers the New Markets Tax Credit Program.

The $24 million Center has been partially financed through the federally sponsored New Markets Tax Credit Program, which is designed not only to encourage development but also job growth and retention, education and small business growth in the nation’s most economically depressed areas.

U.S. Bank is the most active New Markets Tax Credit investor in the country. Working through Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, a not-for-profit community development corporation, and NCB Capital, a nonprofit CDFI, U.S. Bank committed more than $6 million of federal New Markets Tax Credit equity in support of the development.

The federal government also granted $10 million of federal stimulus funds to LCHC to support the construction of the Center.

Designed by Chicago-based McBride Kelley Baurer Architects, the Center is expected to achieve LEED gold certification for its environmentally friendly features, including a geothermal heating and cooling system, a green roof and energy-efficient lighting and equipment.

Additionally, the Center is expected to create more than 100 new jobs, including physicians, medical and dental assistants, fitness staff and janitors. Supporting economic development and job creation within the Lawndale community is a key priority of LCHC.

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Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC) is a community-based nonprofit organization, founded in 1984 and dedicated to improving the health of Lawndale and the neighboring communities on Chicago's West Side. LCHC provides quality primary care services without regard for a patient's ability to pay and serves as a community resource for eliminating health disparities.

LCHC’s 3860 W. Ogden location will remain the home of the organization’s administrative offices, and the exam rooms will continue to be used for adult medicine.