Ponce Health Sciences University (“PHSU”) is located on the southern coast of Puerto Rico in a medically underserved area (“MUA”) with a shortage of primary health care professionals, including a 23% shortage of pediatricians, 68% shortage of OBGYNs, and 64% shortage of psychiatrists, according to Health Resources & Services Administration standards. In 2017, Hurricane Maria destroyed many of the campus’ medical and educational buildings, which exacerbated the region’s healthcare shortage.
MBS Urban Initiatives’ allocation funded the development of a state of the art 134,251 sq. ft. Academic Center, replacing and expanding facilities destroyed during Hurricane Maria thus allowing for significant increases in health care student slots and patients served. The four-story building includes a ground floor clinic providing an estimated 80,000 patient visits per year (90% of which will be low-income persons) in primary care, dental services and mental health services. The project serves 22,400 unduplicated patients per year. Floors 2-4 support modern facilities for teaching and research, expanding the University’s flagship Doctor of Medicine program from 323 students to 549 students, increasing other programs enrollment by 1,066 students, and adding 1,045 students to new programs in dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, psychology and undergraduate biology.
Community Partners: Banco Popular, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause and USBCDC