Alaska Health Centers to Receive $6 Million from Recovery Act
Money for construction, renovations, record keeping improvements
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today announced two community health centers in Alaska will receive nearly $6 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The money is part of a nationwide distribution of $600 million to support major construction and renovation projects at 85 community health centers and to also assist networks of health centers in adopting Electronic Health Records and other Health Information Technology systems.
"Improving our community health centers, providing better service to Alaskans looking for medical help, and creating jobs in smaller communities is great news," Sen. Begich said. "Alaskans are really starting to see the impacts of the Recovery Act as projects are funded, people are getting to work and the economy is starting to move forward."
The awards were given as part of a competitive grant process with more than 600 applicants nationwide.
The two recipients in Alaska are:
· Alaska Island Community Services (Wrangell) $3,736,490
· Seldovia Village Tribe $2,258,091
Alaska Island Community Services (AICS) Executive Director Mark Walker flew to Washington, D.C. for the announcement today by President Obama of the nationwide awards.
Walker says AICS is the only primary care facility in Wrangell, providing primary care, dental, behavioral health, pharmaceutical and other services to the community of Wrangell and North Prince of Wales Island. Walker says the grant will allow the organization, which has been leasing space for a clinic since 2004, to construct its own facility.
The Seldovia Village Tribe Health Center provides comprehensive medical and dental care to the communities of Seldovia, Homer and Anchor Point. They offer medical and dental care at a reduced cost to all patients who qualify based on income and family size.
The new Recovery Act funds are the latest in a series of grants awarded to community health centers across the country which deliver preventive and primary care services at more than 7,500 locations to patients regardless of their ability to pay. According to the White House, health centers serve more than 17 million patients, about 40 percent of whom have no health insurance.
Sen. Begich was the only member of the Alaska congressional delegation to vote for the ARRA which was signed by the president in February.