August 17, 2015
Health Centers earn grant to fund Linn expansion
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties was awarded a United States Department of Health and Human Services grant for $1.1 million recently to open a new health center in Sweet Home.
The Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties is a family of Federally Qualified Health Centers operated by Benton County and overseen by an independent appointed board. The health centers offer high-quality affordable care to some of the region’s most vulnerable populations at its four locations – Benton Health Center, Lincoln Health Center, Monroe Health Center and East Linn Health Center in Lebanon. Services include primary care, oral health, family planning, behavioral health, pharmacy and other services. The Health Centers are certified as a Patient-Centered Health Home due to quality of care delivery and wrap-around services that treat the whole person in an integrated way.
“We are very excited about receiving this grant,” Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties Director Sherlyn Dahl said. “Our board has been talking about the possibility of expanding access to care in Sweet Home for some time. We are especially pleased to be partnering with Linn County Health Department to develop a fully integrated model of care, providing primary care, mental health and addiction services, oral health and public health services in one location.”
Linn County Health Center locations are self-supporting financially and are run without the support of Benton County property tax dollars. The East Linn Health Center in Lebanon has been a profitable enterprise while providing high-quality affordable care to those who need it most and health center leadership is hopeful that the same trend will follow in Sweet Home.
“Linn County is proud to partner with Benton County once again in the pursuit of accessible, enhanced and integrated healthcare services to the Sweet Home community,” Linn County Health Department Director Frank Moore said. “This innovative effort, in pursuit of truly integrated healthcare, builds upon the current strengths of partners and promises great benefit to East Linn County residents and vastly improved access to services.”
The Community Health Centers received the funding award during National Health Center Week and was one of 266 successful applicants in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In all $169 million in Affordable Care Act funding was awarded for this fiscal year’s New Access Point grants.
Successful applicants deliver comprehensive primary care in communities that need it most. These new health center sites are projected to increase access to health care services for more than 1.2 million patients across the country. The most recent awards build on $101 million awarded to 164 new health center sites in May.
“Across the country, health centers have provided a source of high-quality primary care for people in rural and urban communities for 50 years,” Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield said. “These Affordable Care Act funds build on the strong legacy of the health center program and provide even more individuals and families with access to the care they need most.”
The investment will add to the more than 700 new health center sites that have opened as a result of the Affordable Care Act, including those awarded earlier this year.
“Health centers now provide primary care to 1 in 14 people living in the United States,” United States Health Resources and Services Administration Acting Administrator Jim Macrae said. “These awards mean that more communities than ever can count on a health center to help meet the increasing demand for primary care.”
For more information about the Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties, those interested can go online to http://www.bentonlinnhealthcenters.org.