WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is awarding more than $30 million in federal funding to Louisiana health care facilities to fight the coronavirus epidemic.
The funds will be dispersed to 34 health care facilities in 40 parishes across the state.
“Health care workers in Louisiana have been handling one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country. Congress passed the CARES Act to provide them with resources to help them handle the epidemic. I thank them all for risking their own health to save lives,” said Dr. Cassidy.
Health center awardees in Louisiana may use these funds to help their communities detect coronavirus; prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19; and maintain or increase health capacity and staffing levels to address this public health emergency.
“This new funding secured by President Trump will help our community health centers continue the work they’re doing on the ground against the coronavirus,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “HRSA-funded health centers are already playing a critical role by delivering essential services, serving as community testing and screening sites, and alleviating burdens on our nation’s emergency rooms and hospitals. HHS will continue bringing every resource we have to support heroic healthcare workers across the diverse settings health centers serve, from our cities to our rural towns.”
On Friday, March 27 the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, into law. This unprecedented legislation helped to secure the resources needed to keep Americans safe from the coronavirus. HRSA is making these vital health center investments available immediately, as they are a key element of the nation’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“HRSA-funded health centers are part of the backbone of our nation’s health care system, serving 1 in 12 people nationwide,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. “Increasingly, people are turning to health centers for the first line of defense in combating emergency public health priorities like the novel coronavirus. Health centers will put these resources to immediate use to respond to emerging and evolving local needs and continue to deliver high quality primary health care services to their patients.”
HRSA funds nearly 1,400 health centers that operate in nearly 13,000 locations nationwide. Health centers deliver care to the nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families, including people experiencing homelessness, agricultural workers, residents of public housing, and our nation’s veterans. Led by patient-majority boards, these health centers provide affordable, accessible, and quality primary health care to over 28 million people a year, regardless of their ability to pay.