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Hamilton Health Center to kick off capital campaign to build new center

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After opening the new Hamilton Health Center last year, the nonprofit for the low-income community is already ready to expand.

Phase 2 of the center’s renovation of a formerly abandoned warehouse in Harrisburg will start in the winter, and the center is looking to raise about $7 million to finish the job. The center kicks off the public phase of its capital campaign to raise the money with a news conference Wednesday morning at the center at 110 S. 17th St. in Harrisburg’s South Allison Hill neighborhood.

Phase 1 of the $23.5 million project for the health center that takes in low-income families opened in September 2012 and modernized and expanded the organization’s facilities. Phase 1 of the renovation cost about $16.5 million and was funded through mostly government sources and the center’s own funds.

The second phase of the renovation will seek the $7 million needed through private donations. The $7 million is for capital costs, expanded service and staffing, and operating resources to support costs while awaiting reimbursement from public funders and insurers, according to center officials.

The full-service outpatient organization that opened in 1969 saw 20,000 patients in 2012 and, with the expansion, expects to see about 40,000 a year by 2015, according to 13-year CEO Jeannine Peterson. It had 77,000 patient visits in 2012 and expects to see that number double by 2015 because of the new facility.

“We have more room, and we’re more efficient because of it,” she said. “We can treat patients faster, which gets new patients in faster.”

The center plans to move its pediatrics and mental health departments into the new part of the building when it’s scheduled to open in fall 2014. The center currently uses 50,000 square feet of the building’s available 67,000 square feet, Peterson said. Phase 2 will renovate the remaining 17,000 square feet and add 17,000 square feet, she said.

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