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Mercy Care closes in on $26 million goal to expand its services in Atlanta

A rendering of the expanded Mercy Care clinic on Decatur Street in the Old Fourth Ward (Special: Mercy Care)

By Maria Saporta

Thanks to key corporate and philanthropic partners, Mercy Care soon will be able to expand its health care services to Atlantans who need it most.

Mercy Care is nearing the completion of a $26 million capital campaign that will significantly expand and upgrade its operations on Decatur Street in the Old Fourth Ward just east of downtown.

A rendering of the expanded Mercy Care clinic on Decatur Street in the Old Fourth Ward (Special: Mercy Care)

The campaign includes the renovation of Mercy Care’s headquarters building, the expansion of clinic space and the construction of a new facility adjacent to its headquarters to provide office space and future additional clinic space.  The new facility will enable Mercy Care to double its patient intake and allow more patients to have access to medical and behavioral care.

“We are really very, very close!” Mercy Care CEO Tom Andrews wrote in an email about reaching the $26 million goal. “We hope to wrap it up in the next 30-60 days.”

The most recent announcement of support came from Truist Financial Corp., which is providing $22 million in a New Markets Tax Credit transaction, including $6.5 million in tax credit equity from Truist Community Capital, a $9.6 million Truist bridge loan and a $200,000 charitable grant from the Truist Foundation.

“We are proud to be a leader in the creation of another home-health model, similar to what we have at our Mercy Care Chamblee medical facility,” Andrews said of the Truist support. “We are grateful to Truist for the investment – a vital part of our funding for our Decatur Street medical facility expansion. Coupled with the 270 units of affordable housing next door, which is sorely needed in our community, we will be able to better support fragile patients experiencing homelessness or facing other barriers to access.”

A rendering of the renovated Mercy Care clinic on Decatur Street in the Old Fourth Ward (Special: Mercy Care)

About 77 percent of Mercy Care’s patients are uninsured, and 64 percent live below the poverty line.

Jenna Kelly, Truist’s regional president for Georgia, said the financial support for Mercy Care is part of the bank’s purpose “to inspire and build better lives and communities” in Atlanta and throughout the Charlotte-based bank’s territory.

“This latest investment in some of our most vulnerable populations here in Atlanta exemplifies that purpose in action,” Kelly said in a statement. “This is a terrific partnership, and I commend our teammates at Truist and partners at Mercy Care and CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing) who were able to see this through the finish line.”

One of the first large gifts Mercy Care received was $4 million from the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, part of the Robert W. Woodruff family of foundations, in April of 2020. That helped kickstart the campaign.

Andrews said the project should be completed by February 2022.

Mercy Care also is doing the project in conjunction with a housing development with its partner, Pennrose, which is finalizing the design of Phase 1 McAuley Park. The affordable housing development will include 170 units. Andrews said permitting for the housing portion has already begun, and it hopes to close on “Low Income Housing Tax Credits” with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs by the end of year. Construction on the housing development is expected to begin in early 2022.

A rendering of the Mercy Care clinic showing the new wing (Special: Mercy Care)

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Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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