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Neuroscience Facility Receives $41 Million in New Markets Tax Credits

CINCINNATI—Four community development entities (CDEs) have allocated $41 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to leverage philanthropic support and UC Health’s investment in the construction of the new home for the University of Cincinnati (UC) Gardner Neuroscience Institute at 223 Piedmont Ave.

NMTCs, administered by the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, incentivize community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities.

The four CDEs and the amount of their allocations to the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute are:

  • Uptown Consortium, Inc., Cincinnati, $20 million;
  • Cincinnati Development Fund, Inc., Cincinnati, $8 million; 
  • Ohio Community Development Finance Fund, Columbus, $8 million; and
  • Capital One Community Renewal Fund, New Orleans, $5 million. (Capital One played a dual role both as a CDE and as an investor.)

Approximately 25 percent of the $41 million in allocations to UC Health will directly impact the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute building’s construction. These funds will offset a portion of UC Health’s overall $79.6 million commitment to the $134 million project. The additional funding to support the project and programmatic costs ($54.5 million) is being raised through community philanthropy. 

"We are grateful to the CDEs for their support through the New Markets Tax Credit allocations,” said Richard Lofgren, MD, president and CEO of UC Health. "Our access to the NMTC allocations to help build a new patient-centered, world-class home for the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute will result in an impact that will be felt by our patients every day.”

"This transaction of New Markets Tax Credits is one of the largest this year anywhere in the country,” Lofgren added. "This tangible show of support is an incredible statement about the great work of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and it will have both an immediate and prolonged impact on the local and state economies.” 

The Structured Finance Group at Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC advised UC Health throughout the process. The firm provided technical expertise related to financial structuring and benefit analysis, sourced and arranged the allocations and equity investment, and managed the entire closing process.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has strongly endorsed the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute project and its use of NMTC.

"My administration and I absolutely support what will be a major addition to Cincinnati’s economy. The new facility will heighten our ability to attract the best and brightest clinicians, researchers and educators to the region. It will advance health care and enable us to better support those suffering from a neurological disorder,” he said. 

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute expects to retain approximately 627 full-time equivalent permanent jobs and create approximately 27 new full-time equivalent jobs within the first full year of operation. The institute expects that 67 permanent jobs will be created within 10 years. Construction will create approximately 100 predevelopment or construction jobs. UC Health, in conjunction with Uptown Consortium, is working with a diversity consultant to support inclusion and diversity efforts in the workforce.

"We expect that the New Markets Tax Credit funding will ultimately spur additional private investment and development for the area,” said Beth Robinson, president and CEO of Uptown Consortium. "This facility and its associated direct and indirect economic and community impact joins the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive/I-71 interchange and the UC 1819 Innovation Hub on Reading Road to kick off the surge of innovation and growth that is burgeoning in what is becoming known as the Cincinnati Uptown clinical, research and education corridor.”

Perkins+Will of Chicago designed the unique four-story building with direct input from UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute patients. Construction began in early June with Messer Construction Company of Cincinnati serving as the general contractor. Expected to be completed in spring 2019, the building will be located along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive East between Eden and Bellevue avenues on UC’s medical campus.

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute provides comprehensive care across 12 centers and two specialty programs, including treatments for Parkinson’s, epilepsy, brain tumors, mood disorders, stroke care and rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, UC Health clinicians within the neurosciences saw more than 56,000 patients. The new central location will allow the institute to better serve the growing patient population and will help attract and retain the top health care professionals working in the neuroscience field.

"We’ve relied heavily on our patients to assist in the design of this building. It is for them and truly is created by them,” said Joseph Broderick, MD, director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine at the UC College of Medicine. "The building is designed to promote multidisciplinary interactions between patients and teams of clinicians and support staff and will facilitate expanded research and education activities.”

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UC researchers say early puberty in girls may be the new big...

Wed, July 10, 2019

CINCINNATI—Adolescent girls who reach puberty at an earlier age may also have a greater chance of developing migraine headaches, according to new research from investigators at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine. “We know that the percentage of girls and boys who have migraine is pretty much the same until menstruation begins,” says Vincent Martin, MD, professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and director of the Headache and Facial Pain Center at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute. “When the menstrual period starts in girls, the prevalence goes way up, but what our data suggests is that it occurs even before that.” The findings will be presented by Martin at the American Headache Society 61st Annual Scientific Meeting Saturday, July 13, in Philadelphia. Nationally, about 10 percent of school age children suffer from migraine, according to the Migraine Research Foundation (MRF). As adolescence approaches, the incidence of migraine increases rapidly in girls, and by age 17, about 8 percent of boys and 23 percent of girls have experienced migraine, the MRF reports. Martin and a team of researchers were part of a longitudinal study looking at 761 adolescent girls from sites in Cincinnati, New York and the San Francisco Bay area. The girls ranged in age from 8 to 20 and study took place over a 10-year period beginning in 2004. Girls enrolled in the study at age 8-10 were examined during study visit every six to 12 months. Researchers determined when they showed initial signs of thelarche (breast development), pubarche (pubic hair growth) and menarche (start of menstrual periods). Girls answered a headache questionnaire to find out if they suffered from migraine headache, no migraine or probable migraine—the latter is defined as meeting all the diagnostic criteria for migraine except one. The average age at which they completed the survey was 16. Of those surveyed, 85 girls (11 percent) were diagnosed with migraine headache while 53 (7 percent) had probable migraine and 623 (82 percent) had no migraine, according to Martin, also a UC Health physician specializing in migraine. Researchers found that girls with migraine had an earlier age of thelarche (breast development) and the onset of menarche (menstrual periods) than those with no migraine. On average breast development occurred four months earlier in those with migraine while menstruation started five months earlier. There was no difference in the age of pubarche (pubic hair development) between those with migraine and no migraine. “There was a 25 percent increase in the chance of having migraine for each year earlier that a girl experienced either thelarche or menarche,” says Susan Pinney, PhD, professor in the UC Department of Environmental Health and lead investigator on the study. “This suggests a strong relationship between early puberty and the development of migraine in adolescent girls.” The age of onset of thelarche, pubarche or menarche did not differ between those with probable migraine and no migraine, says Pinney. Previous research suggests that migraine often starts with the onset of menstrual cycles during menarche in adolescent girls. But this study looks at earlier stages of puberty such as thelarche and pubarche, explains Martin. “To suggest the origins of migraine may occur actually before menstrual periods begin is pretty novel,” says Martin. “At each of these stages, different hormones are starting to appear in girls. During pubarche, testosterone and androgens are present, and during thelarche, there is the very first exposure to estrogen. Menarche is when a more mature hormonal pattern emerges. Our study implies that the very first exposure to estrogen could be the starting point for migraine in some adolescent girls. It may be the Big Bang Theory of migraine.” So is there anything that one can do to prevent an early puberty? “Studies suggest that childhood obesity is associated with early puberty,” says Martin, who is also president of the National Headache Foundation. “Keeping your weight down might prevent the early onset of puberty. Future studies will need to be done to determine if strategy will decrease also the likelihood of developing migraine.” Other co-investigators in the study include Frank Biro, MD, UC professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Cincinnati Children’s pediatrician, Jun Ying, PhD, professor in the UC Department of Environmental Health, and Hao Yu, biostatistician, UC Department of Environmental Health. Funding for this research came grant U01ES026119 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and grant 1R03HD094236 of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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