HHS Secretary Leavitt Announces Advance of Health Center Funds to Hurry Services to Hurricane-Affected Areas

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt announces that the federal government will speed up the award of grants to establish 26 new health center sites in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Approximately $2.3 million in fiscal year 2005 funds to these sites will get health care resources up and running quickly in disaster areas and neighboring states treating evacuees from the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast.

Because thousands of families and individuals are without even minimal health services in the affected areas, we want to get them on the road to recovery right now, said Leavitt. To do that, we are moving up the initial delivery of these 26 grants to September from December as originally scheduled.

The funds will go to nine sites in Texas, five in Louisiana, four each in Florida and Oklahoma, two in Georgia and one each in Mississippi and Tennessee. The organizations that will receive the funds already won grants to create new health centers through a competitive application process, but the initial distribution of funds was set for December.

HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) manages the Consolidated Health Center Program, which funds a national network of more than 3,700 clinics comprised of community health centers, migrant health centers, healthcare for the homeless centers and public housing primary care centers.

Our goal is to get services to folks who need them most. Its the old adage of neighbor helping neighbor during challenging times, said Elizabeth M. Duke, HRSA administrator.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services