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Health centers find opportunity in brownfields

The New York Times, December 12, 2012

The community health center rising on a derelict corner here in West Philadelphia never would have broken ground if not for the asbestos inside the building that was demolished to make way for it. Because of the contamination, Spectrum Health Services received a $2 million federal cleanup grant, the first piece of a $14 million construction financing puzzle. When complete, the 36,000-square-foot building will provide a new home for a health center that has been squeezed into a deteriorating strip mall nearby for decades. It will also be the latest in a nationwide trend to replace contaminated tracts in distressed neighborhoods with health centers, in essence taking a potential source of health problems for a community and turning it into a place for health care.