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HHS awards over $30M ACA funds to state health centers to expand access to care

By From page A6 | November 29, 2013

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced $30,646,193 in grant awards to support 46 new health center sites in California. These funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, will help care for approximately 333,187 additional Californians by establishing new health center service delivery sites.

Locally, the El Dorado County Community Health Center in Placerville received $108,333 from the overall grant awards.

Nationwide, 236 health center programs will receive approximately $150 million in grant awards to serve more than 1.25 million additional patients.

Community health centers work to improve communities’ health by ensuring access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services.

“We remain committed to providing more Californians with the quality patient-centered care they deserve,” said Secretary Sebelius. “California health centers are key partners in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and new health center sites will increase access to those who need it most.”

California health centers served 3,261,720 patients last year, 42 percent of them uninsured. 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 the establishment of new full-time service delivery sites.

Health centers also link individuals to care through outreach and enrollment, assuring that individuals in their communities have the information and assistance they need to enroll in care through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Today, nationwide approximately 1,200 health centers operate more than 9,000 service delivery sites that provide care to more than 21 million patients in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin. Since the beginning of 2009, health centers have added 4 million patients and more than 35,000 new full-time positions.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide additional Affordable Care Act resources to California health centers to establish new sites,” said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. “With these new funds, health centers will provide more individuals and families in California with access to high-quality affordable health care.”

Health Center New Access Point grants, listed by organization and state, are available at hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/newaccesspointawards.

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit healthcare.gov. To learn more about HRSA’s Health Center Program, visit bphc.hrsa.gov/about/index.html.

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