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The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project

As one of the few primary care facilities serving the neighborhoods of Austin, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park and North Lawndale, PCC Community Wellness Center’s Austin Health Center was limited in its ability to serve the growing health needs of the community. With just six exam rooms, its waiting area and parking lot were often overwhelmed with patients waiting to be seen.

But a new health center has become an important resource in a community that has poorer health outcomes than other parts of the city, including steeper infant mortality rates and higher occurrences of strokes and diabetes. The new building, the result of a $5.9 million project funded by numerous foundations, has more than doubled the size of the facility, and with it the center’s capacity for patients.

The new center can accommodate more than 32,000 patients – a dramatic increase from the 13,000 it once served - who take advantage of its 15 exam rooms, lab and pharmacy space, dental suite, behavioral health department and space for a WIC nutrition center. The eco-friendly center is pursuing LEED “silver” certification, and has expanded its services to high-risk pregnant women, new mothers and their babies.

Its construction was a community effort. Local residents were employed to build the center with funding from the Chicago Community Trust, Field Foundation of Illinois, Prince Charitable Trust, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Northern Charitable Trust and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

For its efforts in bringing the community together to create a healthier environment, PCC Community Wellness Center’s Austin Family Health Center is the winner of the 2011 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project.