This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded more than $3 million to three health centers in Washington’s sixth congressional district to combat the coronavirus. This funding stems from the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, legislation which was supported by Rep. Kilmer.
The three health centers in the region were granted the award as part of a $1.3 billion awarding of funds by HHS through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to nearly 1,400 health centers nationwide. These HRSA-funded health centers may use the awards to help communities across the country detect coronavirus; prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19; and maintain or increase health capacity and staffing levels to address this public health emergency.
“This is progress. Our health centers are on the front lines of combating COVID-19 and providing critical care to those in need,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Thousands of patients – including a lot of vulnerable people – walk through the doors of our community health centers every day. It’s important that they get quality, affordable care – particularly in the midst of this pandemic. That means our health centers should have the resources they need to prevent, diagnose, and treat this virus and keep people in our region healthy. I’ll keep pushing to ensure the federal government provides more of this critical funding to help our providers and our patients as soon as possible.”
Bob Marsalli, CEO of the Washington Association for Community Health, stated: “This emergency funding is an injection for our safety net providers at an absolutely critical time, and we’re grateful for Representative Kilmer’s leadership in securing it. While it will help address some short-term cash flow problems for these community health centers, their financial situation for the coming months is dire. There is no doubt that significant additional funding will be needed to keep their doors open to continue to serve their communities.”
The following health centers received an award: (Health Center, Locality, Award Amount)
- North Olympic Healthcare Network PC, Port Angeles $647,135
- Peninsula Community Health Services, Bremerton $1,059,845
- Community Health Care, Tacoma $1,359,215
HRSA funds nearly 1,400 health centers that operate in nearly 13,000 locations nationwide. Health centers deliver care to the nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families, including people experiencing homelessness, agricultural workers, residents of public housing, and our nation’s veterans. Led by patient-majority boards, these health centers provide affordable, accessible, and quality primary health care to over 28 million people a year, regardless of their ability to pay.
Rep. Kilmer announced his support for the CARES Act on March 27. Overall, that new law included a $150 billion investment for America’s health care system to fight against the pandemic.