County health clinic funded PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:21
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More providers, services and patients will come from a $787,500 federal grant awarded to the Wood County Community Health and Wellness Center.
The money from the Health Resources and Services Administration is a result of the Affordable Care Act’s efforts to expand Medicaid and community health center services, said Ben Batey, director of nursing for the Wood County Health District.
Batey, who is also CEO of the county’s health center, said opening Medicaid eligibility to many more people in Ohio under the ACA prompted funding for health centers so those patients have a place to receive care, because expanded eligibility wouldn’t mean much without more doctors to provide service.
The grant will provide for additional staff for primary care, pharmacy and immunizations to be prepared for the influx of Medicaid clients Wood County and others across the state will see.
The health center applied for the grant in April but was not optimistic about receiving additional money, Batey said. But U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced $6.8 million for 11 Ohio health centers in the state on Wednesday, to include Wood County’s clinic. It will reportedly serve an additional 59,806 patients throughout the state.
“Community health centers play a vital role in helping Ohioans obtain access to primary and preventive health care services,” Brown stated in a news release.  “These new federal resources will help Ohio’s children, seniors and parents receive affordable and accessible health care across the state.”
Nationwide, the Department of Health and Human Services is awarding $150 million to 236 health center programs, according to the release.
“It’s going to be huge” for Wood County, Batey said.
Wood County Community Health and Wellness Center currently has just one full-time nurse practitioner for primary care, an area that will expand under the grant. There could be room to add someone to more closely administer the pharmacy program, and efforts may be made to further collaborate with the Children’s Resource Center and Behavioral Connections to increase offerings for mental and behavioral health, Batey said.
“With this extra funding we can actually bring in some extra staff to see more people in a timely fashion and provide better care.”
Wood County Community Health and Wellness Center currently provides primary, preventive and prenatal care, pediatric and senior services and more to about 1,100 clients, as well as immunization services to many more, Batey said.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:31
 

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