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Michigan community health centers get federal grants

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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.

Dr. Anand Parekh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Science and Medicine with the US Department of Health and Human Services, calls the health centers “an important safety net.”

“This is one of the tangible benefits of the Affordable Care Act,” Parekh said. “Here is an example where millions of Americans--and here, thousands of Metro Detroiters--can be helped through improved access to health care services.”

Parekh says Obama administration isn’t focused onlegal challenges that could void parts or allof health care reform. Instead, he says they are in “full implementation mode.”

Parekh announced the Michigan grants at the Riverside East clinic, which is one of six clinics run by the Detroit Community Health Connection.

They’ll get about $473,000 to add staff and expand their facilities.

Deborah Hall-Turner is the health center administrator there. She says such clinics provide vital primary care uninsured and underinsured populations.

“If you’re on some medication, we’re gonna educate you about that,” Hall-Turner said. “If you’re diabetic, we’re gonna teach you how to take care of your diabetes. We’re gonna make sure that if the doctor’s written a referral where you’ve gotta go see someone else, that happens.”

Hall-Turner says the grant will help DCHC clinics accommodate a growing number of patients, including more of what she calls “the new needy:” older people who worked for most of their lives, but now lack health insurance because they’re un- or underemployed.

A complete list of Michigan grantees:

*Capital Development—Building Capacity Program*

Downriver Community Services, Inc., Algonac--$1,887,000

East Jordan Family Health Center, East Jordan--$2,480,050

Family Health Center Of Battle Creek, Battle Creek--$3,000,000

Family Medical Center of Michigan, Inc., Carleton--$5,000,000

Lakeland Immediate Care Center, Cassopolis--$4,400,000

*Capital Development - Immediate Facility Improvement Program*

Baldwin Family Health Care, Inc., Baldwin--$500,000

Cherry Street Services, Grand Rapids--$500,000

Covenant Community Care, Inc., Detroit-- $500,000

Detroit Community Health Connection, Detroit--$473,756

Downriver Community Services, Inc., Algonac--$490,000

Western Wayne Family Health Centers, Taylor--$370,000


Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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