Fresno County clears the way for new Reedley health center

Board of supervisors approves $14 million for new Family HealthCare Network facilities in Reedley and Selma as part of a larger bond from the California Municipal Finance Authority

Reedley’s Family HealthCare Network road sign located on E. Manning Ave. (Kenny Goodman)
Serena Bettis
Published July 6, 2023  • 
12:00 pm

FRESNO COUNTY – Reedley and Selma residents will have access to new medical facilities from the Family HealthCare Network beginning in late 2023 thanks to a recent bond approval. 

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved the California Municipal Finance Authority’s issuance of tax-exempt bonds to the Family HealthCare Network (FHCN) during its regular meeting June 20. This clears the way for the health care network to obtain financing for new facilities in Reedley and Selma. 

“We are thankful for the approval, but it is only another step in the process,” Kerry Hydash, FHCN president and CEO, said. “The county approval provides FHCN access to tax-exempt interest rates from lenders, but it does not provide the financing or any guarantees for the debt.”

FHCN plans to build two health centers in Fresno County, each approximately 15,000 square feet, that will accommodate roughly 24 medical exam rooms and 10 dental rooms. The Reedley facility, which will be the city’s second FHCN center, will be at the northeast corner of Frankwood Avenue and South Avenue, and the Selma facility, which is meant to replace the city’s existing center, will be located at 1806-1828 Whitson St.

Hydash said construction for the Selma facility, which will be more modern and have expanded services, is already underway and is expected to be completed in December 2023. FHCN plans to finish the Reedley facility by mid-2024.

In order to fund projects across its coverage area, FHCN has received tax-exempt bonds from the California Municipal Finance Authority (CMFA) in a principal amount not to exceed $40 million. FHCN plans to use approximately $20 million for projects in Tulare County and the other half for projects in Fresno and Kings counties — approximately $7 million each for the Reedley and Selma facilities and a similar third facility in Hanford.

“Our consideration for a private placement debt issuance began due to the large number of construction and renovation projects currently underway by FHCN,” Hydash said. “Discussions with a placement agent started in late 2022 in lieu of doing multiple individual bank loans for these projects.”

Pursuant with federal tax laws, an elected body with jurisdiction over the area in which the financed projects are located must approve the bond issuance before it can actually happen. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors’ only role in the bond process was to hold a public hearing on the issuance and pass a resolution of approval; the county itself has no other stake in the bond. At the board of supervisors’ June 20 meeting, there were no comments from the board or the public on the bond issuance and the resolution passed unanimously.

“The debt to be issued by CMFA will be the sole responsibility of the borrower and the County of Fresno will have no financial or legal obligation or responsibility in regard to the repayment of the debt,” Greg Reinke, the assistant county administrative officer for Fresno County, said.

The bond issuance was also approved by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors at the beginning of June and by the Hanford City Council mid-May. 

The FHCN operates health centers across Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties with the purpose of providing comprehensive medical care to anyone in need. The network is made up of Federally Qualified Health Centers that receive grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is a federal agency housed under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Qualified health centers and other HRSA programs are geared toward underserved populations and “provide equitable health care to people who are geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable,” according to the HRSA website. FHCN centers provide services to patients regardless of one’s ability to pay and offer sliding fee scales for patients who do not qualify for public benefits like Medicaid and Medicare.

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter