News

West Hawai‘i Community Health Center Set to Receive $1.3 Mil in Federal Funding

December 3, 2020, 1:19 PM HST
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Sen. Mazie Hirono. Courtesy photo

West Hawai‘i Community Health Center (CHC) is set to receive $1,311,644 in funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to continue offering critical health services, including medical, dental, and behavioral health care, to rural and underserved communities at eight locations in West Hawai‘i.

West Hawai‘i CHC also offers coronavirus testing and telemedicine to better serve their patients during the ongoing public health crisis.

“The coronavirus pandemic has stretched public health resources thin,” said Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i). “This ongoing funding will support West Hawai‘i Community Health Center as they continue providing the essential health care services that Hawai‘i Island residents rely on. I remain an advocate of full funding for community health centers so these vital safety net providers can continue to keep communities across our state and country healthy.”

This funding is part of a continuing grant for the calendar year 2021. Health centers may use this funding for a variety of projects, including the expansion of primary health care access to new health centers and sites, additional services, improving information technology, and boosting services for emerging public health concerns like COVID-19 prevention, response, testing, and recovery.

“Access to affordable primary health care is incredibly vital for all people – especially now during the pandemic,” said Richard Taaffe, CEO of West Hawai‘i Community Health Center. “All people deserve safe and dependable access to health care, regardless of their ability to pay.

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This new funding Taaffe said, helps ensure crucial services are available for the people of West Hawai‘i.

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Hirono has been a champion for community health centers. The senator has repeatedly called on her colleagues to provide additional emergency funding for CHC’s to respond to COVID-19.

In April, Hirono announced over $10 million in new funding for Hawaii CHCs from the CARES Act to respond to, prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19, including more than $780,000 for West Hawai‘i CHC.

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