WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week awarded nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to nearly 1,300 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program-funded health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to support major health care construction and renovation projects. These awards will strengthen our primary health care infrastructure and advance health equity and health outcomes in medically underserved communities, including through projects that support COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination. The awards were made through the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“Health centers are lifelines for many of our most vulnerable families across the country, especially amidst the pandemic,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to American Rescue Plan funds, we’re modernizing facilities across the country to better meet the most pressing public health challenges associated with COVID-19. This historic investment means we get to expand access to care for COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination – all with an eye towards advancing equity.”
Health centers will use this funding for COVID-19-related capital needs, constructing new facilities, renovating and expanding existing facilities to enhance response to pandemics, and purchasing new state-of-the-art equipment, including telehealth technology, mobile medical vans, and freezers to store vaccines.
“HRSA-funded health centers play a vital role in the local community response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa. “Investing in health center construction and modernization will significantly increase access to affordable, high-quality primary health care services in underserved communities across the nation.”
HHS state that the funds will be awarded to health centers that serve medically underserved and other vulnerable populations and communities, which are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and other health conditions. By constructing new facilities or renovating and expanding existing facilities, health centers will ensure that these communities will have more equitable access to high-quality primary health care. More than 91 percent of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and nearly 63 percent are racial/ethnic minorities.
For a map of the FY 2021 American Rescue Plan Funding for Health Center Construction and Capital Improvements award recipients, visit https://bphc.hrsa.gov/program-opportunities/american-rescue-plan/arp-capital-improvements/fy21-awards.
To locate an HRSA-funded health center, visit https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.
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