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Who's Opening a Community Health Center in Your Neighborhood? (Or Wants To)

Who's Opening a Community Health Center in Your Neighborhood? (Or Wants To)

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If you're looking for new ways to report on health reform's rollout in your community or state, here's an idea: Which nonprofit organizations are considering offering new primary health care services?

This new state-by-state list of federal health reform grants can help you find them.

The Affordable Care Act grants, totaling $10 million, will help 129 groups hoping to expand the services they offer –from medication assistance to counseling to dental treatment – by becoming community health clinics offering primary health care.

The planning grants are small, averaging $80,000 apiece. But they're a start toward helping local HIV/AIDS agencies, senior centers, mental health groups and other nonprofits get basic medical care to more Americans at a time when poverty is on the rise. They also could create jobs.

These aren't necessarily feel-good stories. Consider watch-dogging how organizations in your area spend this money, and whether they deliver on the promises made in their grant applications.

The challenges are great: will they be able to raise enough money to build or expand a clinic? Will they be able to hire doctors and other health workers? Will they be able to stay afloat financially at a time when federal reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare are under siege? Will other community health centers view these new efforts as competition or a welcome addition to the health care safety net?

Let me know what you hear and share your stories in the comments below.

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What a fantastic idea, and what a great experience of community for the children.

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