Money for health centers

    Federal dollars are flowing to community health centers.

    The Maria de los Santos Health Center will use a new $600,000 federal grant to hire more doctors and other health providers for its new facility in North Philadelphia.



    The new grant will boost the center’s regular funding, but Maria de los Santos and other federal qualified health centers are also expecting a temporary influx of stimulus dollars.

    Patty Deitch is president of Delaware Valley Community Health, which operates Maria de los Santos and three other Philly-area centers. She says the Obama administration is investing in community health clinics around the country because they provide quality care whether or not a patient has health insurance.

    Deitch: Whatever form health reform takes we are going to be there. You know you just can’t give everybody insurance. A card is only a card, they need to have a place to go to get the health care.

    The federal stimulus package allocates $500 million to expand services at existing centers. Another $1.5 billion will pay for brick-and-mortar projects, new equipment and information technology systems.

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