community health centers

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Dr. Felix Valbuena is CEO of the Community Health and Social Services Center (CHASS) in Southwest Detroit. It’s one of 45 community health centers in Michigan that provide care to about 700,000 people.

Roughly 27 million Americans – largely located in low-income urban or rural areas – rely on community health centers for medical, dental, and mental health care. But it’s been 129 days since Congress let funding run out for community health centers. Valbuena, along with other health administrators, is nervously waiting to see whether Congress passes funding for the program in the ongoing budget negotiations.

MidMichigan Urgent Care - Houghton Lake
MidMichigan Community Health Centers

For the last year, there has been a lot of news about Republican efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act, or failing, that, to try and strangle its funding.

In recent weeks, we’ve also become increasingly aware of the crisis facing the federally funded Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, which provides health insurance for more than nine million kids nationwide, more than 100,000 of them in Michigan.

Genesee Community Health Center mobile care
Genesee Community Health Center

Since 1965, community health centers have provided care for low-income and uninsured Americans.

And now, that vital care for 26 million people in more than 10,000 locations is threatened by the failure of Congress to renew its funding, which expired September 30.

If the fund is not renewed, community health centers could lose out on $3.6 billion, and one policy brief from the National Association of Community Health Centers estimates between 76,000-161,000 private jobs could be lost nationwide.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Access to health care for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders may be at risk as a federal funding deadline looms.

More than 40 community health centers provide care for 680,000 Michiganders. But federal funding for them expires this week. 

By one estimate, 100,000 Michiganders could lose their health care access almost immediately.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A big chunk of federal funding is on the line for Michigan’s community health centers.

The federal Health Center Fund is set to expire October 1st.  

The fund provides tens of millions of dollars to centers that provide access to health care for 650,000 Michiganders, more than half of whom are on Medicaid. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Ten community health centers in Michigan are getting million dollar federal grants to expand.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the money will pay for renovations and expansion. By expanding, the health centers will be able to provide more primary and preventative health services to people with little access.

The department’s Dr. Nicole Lurie toured the Genesee Community Health Center today. What she saw was a center bulging at the seams.

Community health centers could face cuts

Mar 23, 2015
A piggy bank, stethescope and bundle of one dollar bills
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

Community health centers in Michigan could lose up to 70% of their funding if Congress doesn't grant an extension this fall. 

700,000 Michigan residents use the centers for medical, dental and mental health services. 

The centers are concentrated in mostly urban and rural areas where many patents are limited by income, geographic location or both.

Pete Souza / whitehouse.gov

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in Detroit this morning to announce an expansion of community health centers in over 40 states, along with Washington DC and Puerto Rico.

From the Associated Press:

Sebelius announced $128.6 million in awards Wednesday at Covenant Community Care in Detroit.

The grants are from the Affordable Care Act and will go to 219 health centers, increasing access to more than 1.25 million additional patients.

About 5,640 doctor, nurse, dental provider and support staff jobs are expected to be created.

Last month, the department announced $21 million in grants for expansion projects at five community health centers in Kansas and nearly $3.5 million for two centers in Utah.

Sebelius says the health care law is making "community health centers stronger and ensuring more Americans get the care they need."

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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10 community health centers in Michigan will get $19.6 million in federal funds.

Those health centers are key primary care providers for uninsured and underinsured people in many communities.

The money is part of about $11 billion provided to community health clinics through the national health care reform law.