06/01/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/01/2023 12:00
Funding will support underserved communities previously impacted by disasters with new protections to keep health centers open during future emergencies
As hurricane season begins, the Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced it is making approximately $65 million available to help ensure communities in hurricane-prone areas have continuous access to primary care services during future emergencies. This funding will be available for new construction, renovations and infrastructure repairs at health centers in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico to prevent flooding, upgrade emergency generators, and improve communication and mechanical systems ahead of future disasters. Health centers are a cornerstone of our country's health care system, especially for individuals and families who are uninsured; enrolled in Medicaid; and living in rural, remote, or underserved areas.
"Last year, HRSA-funded health centers provided essential care to the people impacted by hurricanes Fiona and Ian," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "These new funds will make it possible for more individuals and families, especially those most often impacted by disasters and emergencies, to access health centers."
The Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to ensure communities consider climate resilience as they plan for the future - from modernizing building codes to make structures more protective and less pollutive, to harnessing the power of ecosystems like reefs, beaches, and wetlands, which keep people safer during storms.
"Through hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters, health centers keep their doors open and are a lifeline to services for patients and their communities. This funding helps make that possible," said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. "We are making this funding available to make sure health centers can respond in an emergency and continue to be cornerstones in their communities when they are needed most."
Capital Assistance for Hurricane Response and Recovery Efforts will increase health centers' ability to provide continuous access to care in the event of future emergencies. Examples of possible projects include taking steps to prevent flooding, such as building a flood wall or relocating the health center, upgrading emergency generators, and improving communication and mechanical systems.
Eligible HRSA-funded health centers must submit applications in HRSA Electronic Handbooks by 5:00 p.m. ET on July 6, 2023. Visit the CARE Technical Assistance Webpage for the notice of funding opportunity, eligibility requirements, technical assistance information, and other resources.
Today, the approximately 1,400 HRSA-funded health centers operate nearly 15,000 service sites, including mobile clinics, and participate in community outreach events to engage people in accessible settings.
To locate a HRSA-supported health center, visit: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.