Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) announced two grants totaling $5.38 million for a major expansion of Family Health Centers, the Louisville-based nonprofit that provides primary and preventive health care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay.
The grants are part of more than $728 million in new federal funding for community health centers announced Tuesday. The funds were provided through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which authorizes $9.5 billion to expand services over five years and $1.5 billion to support major construction and renovation projects at community health centers.
"This is a down payment on affordable health care for thousands of Louisvillians," Congressman Yarmuth said. "I am thrilled that Family Health Centers is expanding its essential work in our community. And I am proud to have supported a law that is expanding access to primary and preventive care, reducing costs, and providing more people the care they need when they need it."
Family Health Centers will use a $5 million grant to relocate its East Broadway facility to the former Antique Mall building at 834 East Broadway, where it will occupy three floors and 30,000 square feet -- roughly three times the size of its current facility.
The new facility will serve an additional 10,000 patients a year, expanding primary medical care and behavioral health services, and adding for the first time a dental clinic, X-ray department, and pharmacy. The current facility serves approximately 6,000 patients a year.
"We are very excited to have this opportunity to expand our capacity for much-needed primary care and preventive health services in Louisville," Family Health Centers Executive Director Bill Wagner said. "We will have the capacity to serve an additional 10,000 people a year at the new facility and thousands more throughout our community. We couldn't do that without this important federal investment."
A second $380,000 grant will be used to renovate the existing facility at the Phoenix Hill Center for the Homeless on East Muhammad Ali Boulevard. The facility requires upgrades to manage a growing patient population.
According to a new report released by the White House on Tuesday, the health care law has supported 190 construction and renovation projects at community health centers and the creation of 67 new health center sites across the country. Over the next two years, the law will support more than 485 new health center construction and renovation projects and the creation of 245 new community health center sites.
Since the beginning of 2009, employment at community health centers nationwide has increased by 15 percent. And through the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act, community health centers are serving nearly 3 million additional patients today and will serve 1.3 million more in the next two years.