The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded Tuesday $1,739,288 to 28 health centers in West Virginia stemming from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020.

Health center recipients in West Virginia may use these awards to address screening and testing needs, acquire medical supplies and boost their tele-health capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, March 6 President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act 2020, which provides $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, including $100 million for HRSA-funded health centers nationwide, according to an HHR press release. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, and the important role health centers play in their communities, HHS is making funding for health center recipients in West Virginia available immediately.

“HRSA-funded health centers have been and will be critical players in our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday. “The new grants we’re releasing today are a rapid injection of resources secured by President Trump from Congress in the supplemental funding bill, building on the strong investments HHS has made in health centers over the years. President Trump has emphasized a whole-of-government, whole-of-America response to the pandemic, and these grants will help health centers, which know the needs and resources of their communities best, to play their part.”

According to the HHR press release, the funding supports health centers across the country in their emergency planning and response efforts. The awards will give health centers the flexibility to meet the evolving COVID-19 needs in their respective communities including but not limited to, expanding COVID-19 screening and testing capacity, purchasing supplies such a personal protective equipment (PPE) and providing safety education.

“HRSA-funded health centers provide high-quality primary care services to 28 million people in the United States. That is 1 in 12 people nationwide. These grantees operate 13,000 service delivery sites that are lifelines to services and networks of resources in their communities every day, and especially during a crisis,” HRSA Administrator Tom Engels said. “HRSA-funded health centers will receive this funding as quickly as possible so they can maintain their ability to deliver quality primary health care services to their patients while responding to developing needs in their communities.”

Locally, Cabin Creek Health Systems, Inc. at Dawes will receive $64,181 and New River Health Association, Inc. in Scarbro will receive $65,778.

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