April 13, 2005

The third time was the charm for the Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center, which has made the list of 105 new federal health centers awarded grants.

After applying for the grant twice previously, the Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center finally made the cut with its third application. On Monday, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced planned awards of more than $63 million for 17 grants to be awarded in May and 88 additional grants to be awarded in December. The Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center was included in the December list with an award of $650,000.

â??We are certainly excited about the announcement of this planned award,â? said Eddy Herrera, CEO of the Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center. â??This is the first step in allowing us to truly address the health needs of the Northside community.â?

Funding for the December grants will be awarded on Dec. 1 as fiscal year 2006 funds become available; therefore, funding is contingent on the 2006 national budget.

â??This is exciting news for people in Fort Worth, especially people in the Northside community,â? said Manuel Valdez, president of the board of directors of the Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center and justice of the peace for precinct five. â??This decision was a long time coming, and it took the efforts of many people. We are very confident that the federal funding for this health center will work out for our community. The results certainly can be beneficial to the needy that may not be receiving the services they should be receiving in these hard economic times. Centers such as this will at least allow people who cannot afford health care to have some preventive careâ??that is our intent as a board that the federal funding will allow us to expand our capacity to serve the citizens of this community.â?

The grants from HHS will allow the Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center to offer comprehensive primary health care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. According to HHS, almost 40 percent of patients treated at federal health centers have no insurance coverage, and others have inadequate coverage, so charges for health care services are set according to income.

The grants announced by HHS Secretary Leavitt are part of President George Bushâ??s five-year initiative to help communities across the country create or expand access to comprehensive primary health care services. The initiative was launched in 2002. Since then, HHS has funded more than 700 new or expanded health centers.

The grant awarded to Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center was one of nine awarded to Texas communities as part of the December funding. One grant for announced in the May round of funding.

According to a fact sheet from the National Association of Community Health Centers, total funds for community health centers come from a mix of federal grants (26%), patient-related revenue (55.6%), non-federal grants (13%) and other sources (19%).

The Northside Community Clinic was originally an extension of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicineâ??s Northside clinic facility. It is located at 2106 N. Main Street in Fort Worth.

â??By partnering with the community and with the JPS Health Network, we have more effectively reached out to an underserved population in the near Northside area,â? said Marc B. Hahn, DO, dean of TCOM. â??We believe that this collaborative effort was instrumental in helping the community obtain the first federally qualified health center in Fort Worth.â?


Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail

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