At Covenant Community Care today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced awards of new grants made possible by the health care law to expand community health centers. The grants awarded to 219 health centers will help expand access to care for more than 1.25 million additional patients and create approximately 5,640 jobs by establishing new health center service delivery sites.
"The health care law is making our community health centers stronger and ensuring more Americans get the care they need," said Secretary Sebelius.
Community health centers work to improve the health of the nation by ensuring access to quality primary health care services. The awards announced today total $128.6 million and will go to community health centers in 41 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.
As community-based and patient-directed organizations, health centers are well positioned to be responsive to the specific health care needs of their community. Through the Affordable Care Act's commitment to expand access to high quality health care for all Americans, these grants will support establishment of new full-time service delivery sites.
"Health centers serve more than 20 million patients nationwide and are an integral part of our health care system," said Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). "These awards demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to quality health care through the creation of new health center sites."
Health centers are also an integral source of local employment and economic growth in many underserved and low-income communities. In 2011, health centers employed more than 138,000 staff including: 9,900 physicians, 6,900 nurse practitioners, physicians' assistants, and certified nurse midwives, 11,800 nurses, 10,300 dental staff, 4,400 behavioral health staff; and more than 12,500 case managers, health education, outreach and transportation staff.
The 5,640 jobs created through the awards announced today will go to doctors, nurses, dental providers, and many other staff supporting services to more than 1.25 million new patients.
Since the beginning of 2009, health centers have added more than 25,300 new full-time positions. The awards announced today will infuse critical dollars into health centers and their surrounding communities, enhancing health centers' ability to serve more patients and creating thousands of jobs across the country.
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.
Health Center New Access Point grants, listed by organization and state, are available at http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2012tables/120620nap.html
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit www.healthcare.gov. To learn more about HRSA's Health Center Program, visit http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about/index.html. To find a health center in your area, visit http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.