The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $7.8 million for 12 new 330 health clinics in Puerto Rico as part of a global allocation of $50 million for 77 clinics in the United States, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
“The novelty of this announcement is that two nonprofit organizations will receive $650,000 each to become beneficiaries of the HRSA Community Health Centers Program and operate as 330 health centers,” said Alicia Suárez-Fajardo, executive director of the Primary Health Association of Puerto Rico. HRSA is the Health Services and Resources Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health.
The competitive proposals submitted by the Community Health Foundation of Puerto Rico in Bayamón and by the Puerto Rico Community Network for Clinical Research on AIDS in Río Piedras were approved and join other 20 nonprofit organizations that have operated for decades in Puerto Rico in areas of geographical difficulty, with vulnerable populations and in compliance with all federal government requirements, she said.
Ten existing 330 clinics will also receive $650,000, each to develop new clínicas in several towns. They are: Centro de Servicios Primarios de Salud de Patillas, Concilio de Salud Integral de Loíza, Med Centro, SANOS, COSSMA, Costa Salud, HealthPro Med, Migrant Health Center, Morovis Community Health Center and NeoMed.
The new clinics will be located in the towns of Coamo, Salinas, Ceiba, Naguabo, Guaynabo, Cabo Rojo, Moca, Vega Alta and Caguas.
One of the new clinics in Caguas will be located at the Los Prados shopping center, owned by Corporación SANOS.
“It’s a great achievement for Corporación SANOS, which will allow us to continue developing what we are already doing well, guaranteeing more health access points for our Caguas patients,” said César Montijo, executive director of Corporación SANOS.
The new clinic in Los Prados will join the two SANOS service centers in Caguas, at Plaza SANOS and the Consolidated Mall, as well as health clinics offered in the communities via its mobile medical unit, he said.
Montijo explained that HRSA provides a period of 120 days from the allocation of funds to start operations and provide primary medical services in its centers. The new Los Prados clinic could open later this year or in early 2020.
SANOS offers integrated services for children and adults, without looking at their payment capacity, said Anstrong Figueroa, medical director of SANOS, which will recruit additional staff.
As in the Health and Wellness Clinic at the Consolidated Mall, the team includes a pediatrician, a family doctor or general practitioner, a psychologist and all the nursing staff. The new clinic also plans to include vaccination services, Figueroa said.