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Federal Grants Boost Community Health Centers in NY

Community health center services include primary care, behavioral health and dental care. (drshohmelian/pixabay)
Community health center services include primary care, behavioral health and dental care. (drshohmelian/pixabay)
August 17, 2018

OSSINING, N.Y. – Community health centers in New York are getting some much-needed help through federal Quality Improvement grants.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $125 million in grant awards to more than 1,300 community health centers across the country.

Lindsay Farrell is President and CEO of the Open Door Family Medical Centers, operating six locations in Westchester and Putnam counties. She says the grants will help them serve low-income people outside the metropolitan area, where services are plentiful.

"While New York is a great health-care state, there are many places where health care isn't very accessible and we, as community health centers, are there to address those needs,” say Farrell.

She adds the centers are open to people of all income levels, but those who make below 200 percent of the federal poverty level can get services on a sliding-fee scale.

Farrell notes that the clinics provide a full range of primary-care services.

"We do family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine,” say Farrell. “We also do OB-GYN. We have behavioral health care. We have a very large dental program. And then we have some ancillary services, including vision and podiatry."

Farrell believes the federal grants announced this week are an important validation of the services that community health clinics provide, and says the goal is to keep them affordable and accessible.

"We're not into selling services the way other health-care organizations are,” say Farrell. “We are really about helping people manage their chronic disease, preventing chronic disease and really, encouraging people to live healthy lifestyles."

In 2017, more than 27 million people nationwide relied on federally-supported health-care centers for their primary care.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY