Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Vermillion-Parke Community Health Center is one of three health centers in Indiana to recently be awarded a New Access Point grant by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
In June 2012, Sebelius announced awards of new grants made possible by the health care law to expand community health centers. The New Access Point funding is a $650,000 grant that VPCHC will receive annually, during the grant cycle. The grant will allow VPCHC to create at least five new jobs, while that number is expected to grow. In Indiana, a total of $2.2 million was awarded to the three health centers to help expand access to care for 9,600 additional patients.
“The health care law is making our community health centers stronger and ensuring more Americans get the care they need,” Sebelius said. Community health centers work to improve the health of the nation by ensuring access to quality primary health care services. The awards announced in June total $128.6 million and will go to community health centers in 41 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.
As community-based and patient-directed organizations, health centers are well positioned to be responsive to the specific health care needs of their community. Through the Affordable Care Act’s commitment to expand access to health care, these grants will support establishment of new full-time service delivery sites.
“Receiving this grant rewards the hard work of the citizens of Bloomingdale and the board and staff of the health center. We are extremely excited to provide access to primary care in an area of Parke County that currently does not have a healthcare facility,” said Elizabeth Burrows, CEO of VPCHC.
Health centers are also an integral source of local employment and economic growth in many underserved and low-income communities. Since opening in February 2008, VPCHC has created 41 new jobs.
“The board of VPCHC is excited about the opportunities of expanding services into the Bloomingdale area, with ability to deliver care to citizens of the surrounding areas. This clinic site will serve to provide quality health care at the back door of many rural residents and provide a medical home for them,” said Becky Holbert, VPCHC board president.
VPCHC will distribute additional details about the opening of the Bloomingdale health center, once information becomes further available. The facility is expected to open later this year.