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VA to get $2 Million Boost for Community Health Centers

June 21, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. - More than $2 million in grants are on the way to Community Health Centers in Virginia, with the goal of providing health-care access to an additional 18,000 medically underserved Virginians.

The announcement came Tuesday from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The money was made possible with grants provided by the Affordable Care Act, according to Tracy Causey, chief executive of the Capital Area Health Network in Richmond.

"I think this is a great opportunity for us to expand, to meet more of the community needs. It's going to mean that we are going to provide access to care for even more people in the community - and also across the state - that are in need of primary medical services, health-care services."

The funding will be used to set up new health centers in four communities including Chesterfield, Herndon, Amherst and Hampton Roads. According to the Virginia Community Healthcare Association, Community Health Centers deliver a wide array of services to more than 300,000 Virginians, regardless of ability to pay.

Causey says the Capitol Area Health Network, which serves Richmond and Chesterfield County, was awarded more than $400,000 to develop a new medical center providing medical, dental and mental health services - including substance-abuse treatment.

"That's going to mean about an additional 5,000 people are going to have an opportunity to come see the doctor."

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, funding for Community Health Centers nationwide totaled more than $128 million and will help more than 1 million underserved Americans.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA