Select healthcare organizations around San Diego County were awarded a combined $11.2 million by the federal Health and Human Services Department Tuesday to fund construction projects.
The money comes from the Affordable Health Care Act.
The North County Health Project, of San Marcos, was given $5 million to expand its service capacity and $500,000 to purchase equipment. Neighborhood Healthcare, of Escondido, was granted $3.2 million for service expansion.
Local organizations given around $500,000 to improve facilities or purchase equipment were:
- Imperial Beach Community Clinic;
- Borrego Community Health Foundation in Borrego Springs;
- Family Health Centers in San Diego;
- Mountain Health & Community Services, Campo; and
- San Diego Family Care.
"It should spruce everything up, make things more efficient and make use of electronic healthcare easier," said Nancy O'Sullivan, the Imperial Beach Community Clinic's Program Development Director.
The IB Community Clinic runs health centers in IB and Nestor. The two-year grant will be used to renovate the lobby and increase enrollment at the Imperial Beach Health Center on Palm Avenue.
For example, Enrollment and Outreach Coordinator Antonio Martinez will have a larger office, so he can tell more people about benefits patients may not have known about.
"Often times theres some kind of assistance we can get them on so thats a real positive," she said.
The grant will also help continue the health center's transition to electronic records, which may allow the clinic to increse the amount of patients who receive care daily, O'Sullivan said.
"For many Americans, community health centers are the major source of care that ranges from prevention to treatment of chronic diseases," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "This investment will expand our ability to provide high-quality care to millions of people while supporting good-paying jobs in communities across the country."
The agency gave a total of $122.3 million in grants to community health centers nationally, she said.
City News Service contributed to this report.