TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In Florida, 47 community health centers will receive $368,104,250 in American Rescue Plan funding to support COVID-19 vaccination and services for vulnerable populations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday.
The Health Resources and Services Administration will begin awarding funding in April.
Health centers can use the funds to "support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver needed preventive and primary health care services to those at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units. This investment will help increase access to vaccinations among hard-hit populations, as well as confidence in the vaccine by empowering local, trusted health professionals in their efforts to expand vaccinations."
“Every American should have the security of knowing they have access to quality, affordable health care, especially as we face a pandemic that has exposed the disparities facing rural, minority, and lower-income communities,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a released statement. “The Biden Administration is committed to getting help to those who need it most, and the communities hit hardest by COVID-19 will benefit from these critical investments.”
HRSA-funded health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations, including high-need urban, rural, and frontier communities across the country.
According to HRSA, health centers serve 1 in 5 people living in rural communities, and 1 in 11 people nationwide and more than 91 percent of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and nearly 63 percent are racial or ethnic minorities.
For more information including an interactive map of which health centers will receive funding, click here.