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Federal health officials this week announced $6 million in funding to six community health centers in Georgia for facility renovation and expansion.
The grantees are centers in Wrightsville, Colbert, Atlanta, Blakely, Richland and Columbus. Each center will receive $1 million.
This funding builds on the nearly $4 million awarded to health centers in Georgia for construction and/or renovation in September 2015. The money comes from the Affordable Care Act, which has helped fuel a surge in the centers.
These Federally Qualified Health Centers provide primary health care to medically underserved populations. In Georgia, there are 34 FQHCs with 197 clinic sites in 107 counties.
“Over the past several years, the FQHC system in Georgia has been able to construct new facilities that allow more patients to be served,” said Duane Kavka, executive director of the Georgia Association for Primary Health Care.
“We have had at least eight or nine new buildings constructed and a few renovated and converted as clinics. This has all been part of the growth and expansion of services that have occurred over the past 14 to 15 years,’’ Kavka said Thursday.
The newly announced funding will allow health centers to renovate or acquire new health center clinical space to help provide care to an estimated 11,661 new patients in Georgia, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said.
Georgia’s funding is part of $260 million going to 290 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
“Health centers are cornerstones of the communities they serve,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in a statement.
“Today’s awards will empower health centers in Georgia to build more capacity and provide needed health care to additional individuals and their families.”