U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is the bearer of good news. She was in Philadelphia Tuesday to announce more than half a billion dollars in grants going to the nation’s community health centers.
She made the announcement at the Fairmount Primary Care Center, which offers primary care and preventive services regardless of ability to pay.
“It really is my great pleasure to be here today to announce nearly $730 million in Affordable Care Act grants that are going to help community health centers like here at Fairmount expand, modernize their facilities, hire more employees, and most importantly, serve more patients and create more jobs,” Sebelius said.
Centers in Pennsylvania will receive more than $10 million in the allocation.
It is part of $11 billion promised over the next five years to expand capacity at community health centers.
It is thought that many of the 30 million Americans who will be newly insured due to the health law — half covered by Medicaid — will turn to these centers for care.
About $1.5 million will go to Delaware Valley Community Health, which operates six clinics in the area.
CEO Patti Deitch said they plan to add patient rooms to their Norristown location and an on-site medication dispensary at their Fairmount center.
“Across the country there’s expected that’ll be an increased demand for primary care,” Deitch said, “and there is a concern that there’s not enough primary care capacity.”