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Utah Gets $2.3 Million to Expand Community Health Centers

PHOTO: Utah's homeless population is expected to benefit from more than $2 million in Affordable Care Act funding to benefit community health centers. Photo credit: U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
PHOTO: Utah's homeless population is expected to benefit from more than $2 million in Affordable Care Act funding to benefit community health centers. Photo credit: U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
May 7, 2015

OGDEN, Utah – Thousands of people in Utah, including the homeless, are expected to benefit from $2.3 million in Affordable Care Act (ACA) funding to expand nonprofit community health centers.

Josh Marans, communications and member services manager for the Association for Utah Community Health, says the money from the Health and Human Services Department will increase resources at health centers in Cedar City, Ogden and Provo, and help fill a need for homeless health care.

"Medical, substance abuse, mental health – likely dental, if not immediately, down the road,” he explains. “Basically, primary and preventive care."

Marans says there currently is little in terms of community health care to serve the homeless populations in Ogden and Provo. He points out the funding is not a one-time thing, but will be granted to the health centers each year.

Marans adds that community health centers help keep health care costs down by treating people before their health conditions require expensive hospital care.

"If there's not an opportunity for these patients to receive primary and preventive care, they wait until issues become larger and they end up in an emergency room, where they have a bill that they can't pay," he explains.

Health and Human Services is providing just over $100 million in Affordable Care Act funding to about 160 new health center sites in 33 states. The centers are projected to increase access to health care services for nearly 650,000 patients.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT