Federal Funding to Support Health Center Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services Comes Right on Time in North Carolina
Raleigh, NC — Today, US Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced more than $10 million in federal funding to expand access to quality substance use disorder and mental health services at 36 Community Health Centers across North Carolina. This funding is being awarded at a crucial time for North Carolina – many health centers are responding to Hurricane Florence’s damage while caring for patients and beginning the difficult task of repairing the damage and recovering from losses. A report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, also published today, describes how health centers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands experienced an increase in the number of patients suffering mental health problems, stress-related conditions and poorly managed chronic health conditions following Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017.
This new substance abuse disorder and mental health funding award will help Community Health Centers respond to the opioid epidemic which is damaging the lives of many North Carolinians. Ben Money, CEO of the North Carolina Community Health Center Association, which provides training and technical assistance to Community Health Centers in the state noted, “We are grateful to Congress and HRSA for making this funding available to Community Health Centers. Health centers are critical to addressing North Carolina’s substance abuse and mental health problem. They are governed by the consumers who use their services, providing them with a unique perspective on local needs. Health centers are front-line providers, often the first place a person with a behavioral health need identifies their problem and seeks care. Because community health centers provide services to anyone regardless of their ability to pay, they are well positioned to meet immediate physical and behavioral health needs, and support individuals along their path to recovery.”
In addition to the expanded access funding, HHS also announced the Fiscal Year 2018 Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Awards today. Two Community Health Centers, Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers (Asheville, NC) and Metropolitan Community Health (Washington, NC), will each receive $200,000 to increase access to substance abuse prevention and treatment services for their rural communities.
Total award: $10,146,569 to support 36 North Carolina Health Centers
About the North Carolina Community Health Association
The North Carolina Community Health Center Association serves as the collective voice for North Carolina’s 41 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Look-alikes (LAs)—aka Community Health Centers (CHCs). Our members offer a patient-governed, patient-centered health care home that integrates high quality medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and enabling services without regard to a person’s ability to pay. CHCs are geographically dispersed across 85 counties and operate more than 240 clinical sites. In 2017, CHCs served more than 550,000 people across North Carolina with 43% of those patients being uninsured.