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HHS awards Affordable Care Act funds to expand access to health care

Posted Aug 09 2011 1:01am

Grants will support new health centers in 67 communities, serve additional 286,000 patients

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced awards of $28.8 million to 67 community health center programs across the country. These funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, will help to establish new health service delivery sites to care for an additional 286,000 patients. Community health centers work to improve the health of the nation's underserved communities and vulnerable populations by ensuring access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services.

As community-based and patient-directed organizations, health centers are well positioned to be responsive to the specific health care needs of their community.  These grants will support new access points which are new full-time service delivery sites that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care services.  By maximizing the availability, access, and continuity of primary care services to the nation's neediest populations, these sites will play a critical role in improving the health care status of medically underserved and vulnerable populations and decreasing health disparities throughout the United States.

“We are making an investment in the health of people and the health of our communities,” said Secretary Sebelius.  “These awards demonstrate a commitment to improving and expanding access to quality health care for local communities.  We are removing barriers that stand in the way of affordable and accessible primary health services.”

Eligible applicants included public or nonprofit private entities, including tribal, faith-based and community-based organizations who meet health center funding requirements.  Current HRSA grantees could apply as well as organizations applying for the first time.

“It is fitting that these awards are announced as we celebrate National Health Center Week,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.  “These awardees join the 1,100 current health center grantees that provide affordable community-based primary care to more than 19 million people across the country.”

Health Center New Access Point grants, listed by organization and state, are available at http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2011tables/110809newaccesspoints.html .

A fact sheet about community health centers is available at http://www.hrsa.gov/ourstories/healthcenter/healthcenterweek.html .

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit www.healthcare.gov .  To learn more about HRSA’s Community Health Center Program, visit http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about/index.html .  To find a health center in your area, visit http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov .

The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable.  For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov .


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