On one side of the new 11-acre site, home for a now-closed trade school that the city of Chicago was happy to sell, is what Medaglia calls a "food desert," and the other side is plagued by what Medaglia calls national gangs: the Latin Kings and Satan's Disciples. Hmmm.
Medaglia insists the new "community campus" will be financially self-sustaining, and that any profits received from tenant rents (Saint Anthony will also pay rent to the corporate parent, Saint Anthony Ministries) will be plowed back into community programs that at least tangentially will help improve the area's health.
"The challenge was going back and figuring out what would need to happen to create a viable entity and expand our current services, some of which are not healthcare-related, and make it sustainable," says Medaglia.
The idea of a vertically integrated private/nonprivate partnership came into being as Medaglia held conversations with local aldermen and the city's mayor.
"By creating this campus and providing services and using lease money from these services, we can pay for programs that aren't funded in the current healthcare environment," he says.