Federal Government Announces $65 Million to Strengthen Hurricane Response and Emergency Preparedness at Health Centers

HurricaneImage via Pixabay

As hurricane season begins, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced it is making approximately $65 million available to help ensure communities in hurricane-prone areas have continuous access to primary care services during future emergencies. This funding will be available for new construction, renovations and infrastructure repairs at health centers in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico to prevent flooding, upgrade emergency generators, and improve communication and mechanical systems ahead of future disasters. Health centers are a cornerstone of our country’s healthcare system, especially for individuals and families who are uninsured; enrolled in Medicaid; and living in rural, remote, or underserved areas.

“Last year, HRSA-funded health centers provided essential care to the people impacted by hurricanes Fiona and Ian,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “These new funds will make it possible for more individuals and families, especially those most often impacted by disasters and emergencies, to access health centers.”

“Through hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters, health centers keep their doors open and are a lifeline to services for patients and their communities. This funding helps make that possible,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “We are making this funding available to make sure health centers can respond in an emergency and continue to be cornerstones in their communities when they are needed most.”

Capital Assistance for Hurricane Response and Recovery Efforts will increase health centers’ ability to provide continuous access to care in the event of future emergencies. Examples of possible projects include taking steps to prevent flooding, such as building a flood wall or relocating the health center, upgrading emergency generators, and improving communication and mechanical systems.

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Eligible HRSA-funded health centers must submit applications in HRSA Electronic Handbooks by 5:00 p.m. ET on July 6, 2023. Visit the CARE Technical Assistance Webpage for the notice of funding opportunity, eligibility requirements, technical assistance information, and other resources.

To locate a HRSA-supported health center, visit https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.

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