As part of the response to emergencies caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and María in the U.S. mainland and the Caribbean, the U.S. Health Services and Resources Administration announced the granting of $58.8 million for primary health centers, including $12.8 million for 330 Centers in Puerto Rico.
These non-recurring funds must be used for minor alterations, renovations and equipment purchases and to continue to strengthen the Red 330 clinics for future emergencies or disasters.
The funds are known Capital Assistance for Hurricane Response and Recovery Efforts Awards and are available for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as for six states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas. Funds are assigned by petition to HRSA and projects must be completed by or before two years, or August 2020.
“Our community health centers continue to work with their critical infrastructure, anticipating where and how to strengthen the operation. As we have better prepared health clinics, we can offer quality, efficient and resilient health services,” said Alicia Suárez-Fajardo, executive director of ASPPR, which brings together 20 nonprofit organizations that operate 91 clinics in 58 municipalities.
When making the announcement, U.S. Secretary of Health, Alex Azar, said the health centers are a “common thread that interweave resources and services every day for the communities, especially during a crisis.”
These funds join other investments that the U.S. Department of Health has made to ensure that health centers impacted by the hurricanes can continue to serve communities and be prepared for future emergencies, he said.