PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — In a recent visit to Fairmount Primary Care Center, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced awards made possible by the new healthcare law that will help build, expand and improve community health centers nationwide.
Funding of more than $728 million will support 398 renovation and construction projects, boosting health centers’ ability to care for additional patients and creating jobs. The awards are part of a series of capital investments made available to community health centers under the Affordable Care Act. The funding provides $9.5 billion to expand services over five years and $1.5 billion to support major construction and renovation projects at community health centers.
According to a new report, the healthcare law has supported 190 construction and renovation projects at health centers and the creation of 67 new health center sites across the country, and will support more than 485 new health center construction and renovation projects and the creation of 245 new community health center sites over the next two years.
Overall, since the beginning of 2009, employment at community health centers nationwide has increased by 15 percent. Through the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act, community health centers are serving nearly 3 million additional patients and will serve an additional 1.3 million additional new patients in the next two years.
The announcement is for awards from two capital programs for community health centers. One will provide approximately $629 million to 171 existing health centers across the country for longer-term projects to expand their facilities, improve existing services and serve more patients. This program will expand access to an additional 860,000 patients. The second set of awards will provide approximately $99.3 million to 227 existing health centers to address pressing facility and equipment needs.
“President Obama’s healthcare law is making our community health centers stronger,” said Secretary Sebelius. “For many Americans, community health centers are the major source of care that ranges from prevention to treatment of chronic diseases. This investment will expand our ability to provide high-quality care to millions of people, while supporting good paying jobs in communities across the country.”
Health centers improve the health of the nation’s underserved communities by ensuring access to primary healthcare services. More than 8,500 service delivery sites around the country deliver care to more than 20 million patients regardless of their ability to pay.