Wednesday, May 2, 2012

$728 Million Awarded to Expand and Improve Community Health Centers

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $728 million in grants to fund the renovation and construction of nearly 400 health centers in communities throughout the nation. As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these capital investments will create new jobs, improve and expand the services available to patients and provide health care for new patients, particularly those that reside in medically underserved areas.

These awards were announced as the Obama Administration released a new report highlighting the crucial need for community health centers, as well as the ACA’s efforts to improve and expand health services in communities. According to the report, the number of patients receiving care from a community health center has increased by 3 million since 2008. In the next two years, an additional 1.3 million new patients will be served – an increase that will result in a total of 21 million patients receiving care from community health centers. Furthermore, the report states that nearly two-thirds of community health center patients are members of racial and ethnic minority groups and nearly 40% do not have health insurance.

With roughly 1 out of 16 people in the United States relying on community health centers for care, continued investment in the improvement and expansion of these centers is imperative, particularly in medically underserved communities. The awards made this week will fund 171 renovation and construction projects that will expand the healthcare services available in underserved communities. The funding will also support 227 new construction and renovation projects to improve already existing health centers. It is estimated that these investments will expand healthcare services to an additional 860,000 patients nationwide.

For a list of grantees, please click here.

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