HHS division bestows nearly $100 million for new health centers, healthcare IT

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Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) administrator Elizabeth Duke announced $61 million in new health center grants to help half a million people in the United States obtain access to comprehensive primary and preventive healthcare services. In addition HRSA said it would award $31.4 in grants to help centers adopt EHR and other health information technology.

HRSA is a division of the Health and Human Services agency charged with developing an agency-wide health IT strategy.

Duke made the announcement at the National Association of Community Health Centers' annual convention in Dallas. She stated that the grants will support the President Bush's initiative to increase access to primary healthcare services in 1,200 communities by supporting new or expanded health center sites.

The health center grants will include:

  • 74 grants totaling $36.5 million to create new health centers, bringing the benefits of health centers to low-income counties that do not currently have access to health center care, helping an estimated 300,000 residents of those areas.
  • 25 grants totaling $2 million to develop health centers in high poverty counties.
  • Grants totaling $20 million to establish 41 new health center sites in 25 states.
  • Grants worth more than $1 million to expand medical capacity at four existing health centers in Arizona, Indiana, and South Carolina helping an additional 12,700 people receive primary healthcare services.

The healthcare IT grants will include:

  • 25 grants totaling more than $27 million to support the implementation of EHRs at health centers and in networks linking multiple health center grantees;
  • Eight grants totaling almost $1 million to help health centers plan activities to adopt EHRs or other healthcare IT innovations;
  • 13 grants totaling more than $3 million to help health center networks implement additional healthcare IT, such as physician order entry, personal health records, community health records, health information exchanges and smart cards.

Health centers in California, Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah will receive the healthcare IT grants.

A complete list of grant recipients is posted at the HSRA website: