U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that eight community health centers have received a total of more than $6.1 million from the American Rescue Plan to make capital improvements aimed at better serving Rhode Island patients.

Newport-based East Bay Community Action is among the health center receiving funding and will receive $616,578.

The funding, which was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be used to expand, renovate, and make other capital improvements at community health centers across the state.  The awards will support the improvement of primary care infrastructure in Rhode Island and advance health equity and better health outcomes in medically underserved communities, including through projects that support COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination.

The funding, which was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be used to expand, renovate, and make other capital improvements at community health centers across the state.  The awards will support the improvement of primary care infrastructure in Rhode Island and advance health equity and better health outcomes in medically underserved communities, including through projects that support COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination.

The seven other health centers receiving funding are:

·       Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Pawtucket – $734,663

·       Comprehensive Community Action, Cranston – $677,672

·       Northwest Community Health Care, Pascoag – $682,171

·       Providence Community Health Centers, Providence, $1,166,666

·       Thundermist Health Center, Woonsocket – $1,065,455

·       Tri-County Community Action Agency, Johnston – $589,111

·       Wood River Health Services, Hope Valley – $573,876

Rhode Island community health centers provide care for about 190,000 patients, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Reaction

“Our community health centers have been on the frontlines of this pandemic and they play an essential role in protecting public health.  This federal aid will strengthen Rhode Island’s health care infrastructure and upgrade facilities to better serve patients.  I will continue working to make affordable, cost-effective, high quality preventive and primary care services available to all Rhode Islanders,” said Senator Reed in a statement

“I’m very pleased that another $6.1 million from our American Rescue Plan is coming to Rhode Island to support the stellar work community health centers do every single day,” said Senator Whitehouse in a statement.  “I look forward to touring new additions and renovations that will improve the scope and quality of care available to patients across the state.”

“Our community health centers play a vital role in keeping Rhode Islanders healthy and safe,” said Congressman Langevin in a statement. “The American Rescue Plan Act continues to deliver for the Ocean State, and I’m proud that my colleagues and I have secured this federal funding to upgrade health care facilities and improve health outcomes for our entire state.”

“I am thrilled that our community health centers are getting this federal funding,” said Congressman Cicilline in a statement. “These centers have played a key role in our fight against COVID-19 over the past year and a half, and I know this investment will allow them to expand upon the incredible work they do every day.”

“The demand for health center services continues to grow, which makes the need for capital improvements critical,” said Merrill Thomas, President and CEO of the Providence Community Health Centers in a statement.  “This funding from the American Rescue Plan will allow Providence Community Health Centers to dramatically expand the adult dental services we offer to Rhode Islanders who otherwise may not have access to care.  Thank you to the members of our Congressional delegation for their continued advocacy for community health centers and the patients we serve.”

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).