Harrisburg, PA – Community health centers in Pennsylvania are getting some much-needed help through federal Quality Improvement grants.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $125 million in grant awards to more than 1,300 community health centers across the country.

Cheri Rinehart, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers, says the funds will help them serve thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians who depend on these clinics for primary care.

“All of our health centers are committed to providing quality care and to quality improvement, and every little bit helps,” says Rinehart, “and in some cases, these awards are more than a ‘little bit’ for our health centers.”

Listen to the full interview with Cheri Rinehart.

She notes that nearly every health center organization in the state qualified for a grant in at least one of nine award categories.

Last year, community health centers served about one in every 15 Pennsylvania residents, or around 870,000 people. Rinehart says the federal grants will help meet one the clinics’ critical needs – which is hiring more staff.

“Many of our health centers are actively recruiting for more quality primary-care providers, physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants,” says Rinehart.

The doors of the health centers are open to everyone – regardless of income, health insurance or ability to pay.

Rinehart adds there are currently about 300 community health center sites operating across the state.

“We have sites in 52 of our 67 counties, and our association website allows anyone to find a health center that’s offering the service that they’re looking for near them,” says Rinehart.

That website is ‘pachc.org.’

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