Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Mendocino Community Health Clinic receives $5 million federal capital improvement grant

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A federal grant has been awarded to a local clinic to help improve services in Lake and Mendocino counties.

On Oct. 8, Mendocino Community Health Clinic (MCHC) received notice of its $4.9 million award through the Affordable Care Act Capital Development Grant.

The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), who administers the grant, requires that grant funds be used to support the costs of alteration/renovation or construction of a facility that is consistent with the health center program’s mission – to provide comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

“You’ve heard the old adage, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?’ Well, community health centers were founded on this premise,” said MCHC Public Relations Director Jendi Coursey.

Federally Qualified Health Centers like MCHC provide primary care, and they help patients manage chronic diseases so they don’t require more expensive hospital care, Coursey said.

“They’re the best bang for your health care buck,” Coursey added.

In Ukiah, MCHC has provided care at Hillside Health Center on Laws Avenue for 16 years, creatively making the best use of available space. With these grant funds, MCHC will be able to provide patients with more appropriate and comfortable spaces, better privacy and streamlined services.

Temporary modular buildings will be replaced with permanent structures. Cramped waiting rooms will be expanded. Technology infrastructure will be more robust.

Plans include investments at all three health centers: Hillside in Ukiah, Little Lake in Willits and Lakeside in Lakeport.

“We are thrilled to receive federal dollars that will allow us to meet the needs of more patients as health care reform is enacted,” said MCHC Chief Executive Officer Linnea Hunter.

As a result of the grant, MCHC will provide 16 new local construction jobs. Completion of the renovations in 2012 will coincide with the organization’s 20th anniversary.

“Thanks to this grant funding, MCHC will be ready to care for the community for another 20 years,” Hunter said.

During the next two years, health care reform will make health insurance available to more individuals than ever before.

While this is wonderful news for the uninsured, it poses a challenge for health care providers as they prepare for additional patients, Hunter said. “Our buildings and infrastructure need to be updated to meet current and future patient needs.”

“Community clinics are perfectly positioned to become people’s medical home. We provide an integrated approach to health care with medical, dental and behavioral health services for all ages,” said MCHC Medical Director Dr. Michael Carnevale.

He added, “This grant will allow us to invest in technology and building expansions so we can continue to care for everyone in need.”

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