After 130 days of funding uncertainty, North Carolina Community Health Centers are grateful to Congress for reauthorizing CHC funding through September 30, 2019. Without this funding, health centers faced a 70% cut in mandatory federal funding eliminating care for over a quarter million North Carolinians.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which passed on February 9, 2018, included $7.8 billion dollars in federal grant funding for the Community Health Center program. The continued funding will maintain access to integral services provided to 27 million patients at 1400 community health centers across the nation. NC CHCs are also thankful for protection of the National Health Service Corps, a loan repayment program that is vital to our ability to recruit and retain providers in North Carolina’s rural and medically underserved areas.
North Carolina Community Health Centers served more than 500,000 patients in 2016. There are now 42 CHCs operating in North Carolina, with well over 220 CHC sites located in 85 counties and serving patients from all areas of the state.
“Locally we’ve grown exponentially over the past few years in the services we provide to the people here in eastern North Carolina,” said Kim Schwartz, RCCHC CEO.
A few of the highlights include: ·
• 22 Medical Providers, 4 Licensed Clinical Social Workers, 5 Pharmacists, 60 Clinical Support Staff, and 61 Administrative Staff are part of the RCCHC team
14,541 unique patients seen in 2017
• Opened the Creswell Primary Care Pharmacy
• With community partners opened the PAW Walking Path and celebrated the Farm to School to Health Pop Up Market and Programs; Through Farm to School to Healthcare $610 worth of fresh, locally grown produce was distributed to vulnerable patients through the Prescription Produce Program
• Reduced our 100% of poverty sliding fee from $25 to $15
• $851,325 in services provided to uninsured patients.
• Prescription Assistance Programs funded by Bertie and Chowan Community Benefit Grants provided 1,678 medications to 564 patients resulting in $746,726 in savings.
• Through funding from the Roanoke Chowan Foundation 117 RCCHC sliding fee patients received 395 services at ECU School of Dental Medicine for total services worth $187,774
• 1,436 indigent patients received 4,309 labs at RCCHC locations through November
With funding restored for FY18 and FY19, these small businesses providing healthcare around the state can continue doing what successful businesses do: improve services, expand in areas of need, and hire the best people for the community-based, sustainable, and life-saving jobs at Community Health Centers.
Community Health Centers excel at empowering patients to take personal responsibility for improving their own health outcomes. They provide comprehensive access to primary care, and offer integrated dental, pharmacy and mental health services. Wrap-around services are used to address patient needs that go beyond the provider visit. Serving on the front lines in the fight against the opioid abuse epidemic and childhood obesity, CHCs operate as the only comprehensive providers of healthcare in many rural areas of our state.