Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) has earned a national award for its innovative partnership with Matter Health to provide on-site primary healthcare for elderly and disabled residents at four housing communities.
The 2023 Resident Service Award, given annually by Nan McKay and Associates (NMA), honored KCDC and the Matter Health partnership in the large agency category, which recognizes leaders in the affordable housing industry with 2,500 or more units.
The wellness centers are located adjacent to the lobbies in KCDC’s Cagle Terrace, Isabella Towers, Guy B. Love Towers and Northgate Terrace and provide convenient access to primary care and lifestyle support with a patient lounge, consultation and virtual health room, and an exam room. Within the first six months of operation, the centers were visited by 30% of the residents of each building and decreased emergency room visits by 7% across the four communities during the same time period.
“We appreciate this national recognition and applaud our partner, Matter Health, which is making a positive impact on the lives of KCDC residents,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “Consistent access to transportation is the top barrier to healthcare services for elderly and disabled patients, and this innovative partnership removes this barrier entirely.”
Matter Health also provides regular programming at each community with seminars and events, which help address the loneliness and isolation that elderly residents can face.
Marisa Moazen, vice president of policy and strategic partnerships at KCDC, and Thomas Bleeker, a former AmeriCorps appointee and now full-time KCDC staff member, spearheaded the initiative.
The NMA Housing Awards recognize affordable housing agency excellence in the areas of development and resident service. The award was presented to KCDC in a virtual ceremony on Oct. 20. Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority of Richmond, Virginia, also earned a Resident Service Award in the same category for its Youth Leadership and Employment Academy.