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Nevada Gains a Half-Million for Health Center

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012   

LAS VEGAS - The Obama administration has announced a nearly $500,000 grant for Nevada Health Centers which administrators say is badly needed to help renovate their Las Vegas facility.

The grant will be used to remodel the Eastern Family Medical and Dental Center, says Shirley Hampton, chief development officer for Nevada Health Centers. That facility already serves more than 6,000 Nevadans per year, and Hampton says the federal money will allow it to do even more.

"Currently we're providing OB-GYN care, family practice, pediatrics and dental care - all under one roof. This money primarily will allow us to see more patients, because we'll be able to build more exam rooms."

Eastern Family is one of 18 sites operated by Nevada Health Centers.

The Affordable Care Act funding announced Tuesday by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius is part of $728 million being used to upgrade community health-center facilities nationwide.

The funding has received bipartisan support, says Tom Van Coverden, who heads the National Association of Community Health Centers, partly because this latest round will do more than improve health services for 800,000 people across the nation.

"There are others who would argue, of course, that jobs and job creation and local economic activity in some of the highest-need communities is also a very high priority and factor. But by and large, it's improved health status and significant reductions in health-care costs."

The grants are part of an overall plan to double the capacity of the nation's community health center system by 2015. It serves all people, no matter their ability to pay.


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