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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 1:30am

Georgia Gets $11M In Health Grants

Five community health centers in Georgia are getting $11 million from the federal government to improve care for the poor and uninsured.

At Augusta’s Neighborhood Improvement Project, almost $5 million will pay to build a new health facility with more than 18,000 square feet of space. Right now, they’re packed into an old building with about 3,000 square feet.

“We only have two providers at this space and that’s about maximum capacity to flow through here with patients,” said CEO Janice Sherman. “[In] the new building, we will add an additional two and so we’ll have four providers -- a combination of physicians and mid-level providers – that actually see more people.”

Mid-level providers are professionals such as physician assistants or nurse practitioners who work under the supervision of a licensed doctor. Sherman said with the new space and extra hands, they plan to double the number of patients they care for over the next three to five years.

Construction on the new Belle Terrace Health and Wellness Center is scheduled to begin this summer and it will open in early 2014.

Altogether, the grants to centers in Albany, Augusta, Savannah and metro Atlanta will mean 8,500 more Georgians will receive care.

Other health centers received money to renovate their current facilities and help buy needed equipment. The money is part of the federal health overhaul law.

Grant Recipients – Building Capacity Program:

  • Neighborhood Improvement Project, Augusta, $4,903,414
  • Oakhurst Medical Centers, Stone Mountain, $5,000,000

Grant Recipients – Immediate Facility Improvement Program:

  • Albany Area Primary Health Care, Albany, $487,236
  • Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Center, Savannah, $500,000
  • West End Medical Center, Atlanta, $238,087