WMH receives $1.8 million in federal grants
HONESDALE - Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC), a clinical affiliate of Wayne Memorial Health System, has been awarded two grants totaling $1,868,666 from the federal government through the Affordable Care Act. The money will go towards capital improvements and expanding services and facilities in Wayne and Pike counties.
“We’re thrilled that the federal government recognizes our ability as a community health center to fill unmet needs in our service area,” said Frederick Jackson, executive director of WMCHC.
Jackson said WMCHC was one of only five community health centers in the state to receive a Building Capacity grant. This grant, for almost $1.4 million will fund the construction of an outpatient behavioral health unit and dental clinic for low-income families at the Centers’ Pike Family Health Center in Lords Valley.
“We have seen significant growth in our behavioral health and dental centers in Honesdale. There had been a large unmet need in the community for these services that is now being filled. We expect to duplicate that success in Pike County and bring these services closer to home for the Pike county Community,” said Jackson.
According to Wayne Memorial Grants and Development Manager Jack Dennis, the Pike County project directly addresses three of the top five priority issues revealed in a comprehensive 2009 assessment of health and human service needs—access to primary care, behavioral health providers and primary dental care.
“There are no dentists in Pike County who accept Medicaid,” said Dennis, “and psychiatric services are limited. We anticipate that the completion of this project will benefit many families and individuals in the area.”
Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, a federally qualified health center, serves both the privately insured and the under-and-uninsured. It accepts Geisinger, Aetna, United Healthcare, First Priority, FPLIC, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicaid and CHIP and offers a sliding fee for services based on income.
The second grant, an Immediate Facility Improvement Grant, for $500,000 will impact WMCHC operations at the Stourbridge Medical and Professional Complex in Honesdale. Construction and renovation projects will help WMCHC expand primary care services at the facility. Out of 46 community health centers statewide, WMCHC was one of only eight in the Commonwealth to have been awarded the immediate facility improvement grant.
Currently, WMCHC operates primary care, pediatric, women’s health, dental, behavioral and specialty services (surgery and pulmonology) in Honesdale, Waymart, Lake Como, Lords Valley, Carbondale and Hamlin. The new projects are expected to double the staff in the Honesdale and Lords Valley locations. Wayne Memorial Hospital has committed funds necessary to recruit and hire new providers.
“Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers is our clinical affiliate,” said David Hoff, CEO of Wayne Memorial Health System and a WMCHC board member, “and we are both grateful for these grants. They help us help our community.”
Construction for the 3,752 square foot addition in Pike County and renovations on the Honesdale facility are both expected to begin sometime this year. Both projects will emphasize energy-efficient measures and “green” building standards.
The WMCHC funds were among $728 million in grants awarded this week to community health centers across the country by the Department of Health and Human Services. The grants are designed to “boost health centers’ ability to care for additional patients and to create jobs.”
Return to PoconoNews.Net Home Page