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USDA helps a Community Health Center Improve Services in an Underserved Part of Rural Arizona

Dr. Randy Hancock, Director and CEO of the Black Canyon Community Health Center, Inc. (BCCHC) has spent the last ten years working in a cramped building in the small desert town of Black Canyon City, Arizona. His office has three desks crammed in—his, one for the other doctor and one for their Nurse Practitioner.

BCCHC is the only clinic around for miles and it works overtime to meet the basic health needs of the working class rural residents that make up the community. With an average household income nearly $20,000 below the rest of the state, most of the clinic’s clients are retired and on fixed income. “Some of our patients have to walk to the clinic,” said Dr. Hancock. “It’s really difficult if they need specialty tests or radiology and have to try to get to Phoenix.”

USDA Rural Development recently made a Direct Community Facilities Loan to help build a modern new clinic for Black Canyon City.

According to Dr. Hancock, the new facility will include a radiology department for x-rays and ultra sounds and a larger waiting room. “There have been times here at the old building where our patients have had to line up and wait outside,” he said.

Architect Gary King and Dr. Randy Hancock look over the plans for the new Black Canyon Community Health Center.

Architect Gary King and Dr. Randy Hancock look over the plans for the new Black Canyon Community Health Center.

Dr. Hancock says that another advantage will be that they will be able to arrange for visiting specialists to come to the area by providing modern exam rooms for them to use. “Many of our patients have to arrange for family members to drive them long distances to see a specialist,” Dr. Hancock explained. “If we could arrange to have those specialists come here periodically that would really save our patients time, money and anxiety.” The current building has three and a half exam rooms. The new clinic will have ten.

From the parking area of the existing clinic, one can glimpse the new Black Canyon City Fire station—also built with a USDA Rural Development loan. The land directly adjacent is the site for the new clinic. Dr. Hancock says they also own the land next to that plot. “Our dream is to build an assisted living facility there. It would lessen the burden for the families of those who need the care who may hesitate to send them to Phoenix, so far from home.”

To find out how USDA can help your community upgrade public facilities, click here.

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