The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it has assigned more than $5.6 million to six rural primary health care centers in Puerto Rico to renovate, expand or build facilities.
The awards went to: Centro de Salud de Lares Inc. in Lares ($1 million); Consejo de Salud de Puerto Rico Inc. in Ponce ($1 million); Corporación de Servicos Médicos Primarios y Prevencion de Hatillo in Hatillo ($666,729); Neomed Center Inc. in Gurabo ($1 million); Prymed Medical Care Inc. in Ciales ($1 million); and Salud Integral en la Montaña Inc. in Naranjito ($1 million.)
The local grants are part of a $260 million disbursement announced Thursday by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. Health centers will use this funding to increase their patient capacity and to provide additional comprehensive primary and preventive health services to medically underserved populations.
“Health centers are cornerstones of the communities they serve,” said Burwell. “Today’s awards will empower health centers to build more capacity and provide needed health care to hundreds of thousands of additional individuals and their families.”
These awards will allow health centers to renovate or acquire new health center clinical space in Puerto Rico to benefit a projection of nearly 7,000 patients. the agency said.
“Providing funding to help health centers renovate their facilities will allow them to provide care to more patients,” said HRSA Acting Associate Administrator Jim Macrae. “Perhaps more importantly though, health centers will now be able to provide more health services in one location, better meeting the needs of their communities.”
Since the beginning of 2009, health centers have added 6 million patients; they now serve nearly 23 million people each year, the agency said. Today, nearly 1,400 health centers operate about 9,800 service delivery sites in every U.S. state, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin.