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Stimulus Coming "Just in Time" for North Dakota Community Health Centers

March 12, 2009

Northwood, ND – Part of the sweeping stimulus package signed by the president will provide a half-billion dollars to the states to help cover the increase in uninsured people visiting community health centers.

Sharon Erickson, with the Valley Community Health Center in Northwood, says the recession has inundated centers statewide.

"Just in the last six months, we've had more than a 30-percent increase in the number of patients using our sliding fee discounts."

One area that badly needs the money, says Erickson, is dental services.

"There are some things we need to help people with. We have a brand-new dental clinic in Grand Forks and partly what we are going to do is ask for enabling services to help those folks who come in for dental services connect with other services that will help keep them well and healthy."

Valley Community Health Center must turn in its grant applications by Monday, and if approved, funds are set to arrive by the end of March.



Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND