Rural Health Group is among the nine community health centers within the First Congressional District which will receive a portion of $45,337,125 in American Rescue Plan funding to support COVID-19 vaccination and services for vulnerable populations.
Congressman G.K. Butterfield announced the funding in a press statement this afternoon.
Rural Health Group is slated to receive $6,988,875, according to the statement, while the Ahoskie-based Roanoke-Chowan Community Health Center is expected to receive $3,035,500.
The funding will be awarded starting in April through the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Health centers will be able to use the funds to support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver needed preventive and primary health care services to those at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units.
This investment will help increase access to vaccinations among hard-hit populations, as well as confidence in the vaccine by empowering local, trusted health professionals in their efforts to expand vaccinations.
“Now more than ever, North Carolinians and vulnerable populations across the nation need access to high-quality and affordable healthcare services,” said Butterfield. “During this unprecedented public health crisis, community health centers have answered the call to provide patient centered, culturally competent care to the communities they serve.”
The funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, Butterfield said, “Will help our community health centers continue to receive the federal support they need not just for the COVID-19 pandemic, but to ensure their ability to serve our communities in the future. I am very pleased that HHS has allocated these grant funds to help support the vital missions of community health centers in North Carolina’s First Congressional District.”
United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said, “Every American should have the security of knowing they have access to quality, affordable health care, especially as we face a pandemic that has exposed the disparities facing rural, minority, and lower-income communities. The Biden Administration is committed to getting help to those who need it most, and the communities hit hardest by COVID-19 will benefit from these critical investments.”
HRSA-funded health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations, including high-need urban, rural, and frontier communities across the country.
Health centers serve one in five people living in rural communities, and one in 11 people nationwide. More than 91 percent of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, and nearly 63 percent are racial or ethnic minorities.