Gulf Coast Health Center to receive $101,744 in federal funding

Published 12:10 am Thursday, March 26, 2020

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded nearly $6 million to 72 Texas health centers, including Port Arthur-based Gulf Coast Health Center, to help them meet evolving needs in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gulf Coast will receive $101,744 from HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration. Gulf Coast closed its Memorial Boulevard campus for two weeks starting on Monday after one of its health care providers tested positive for coroanvirus.

Gulf Coast is working to initiate telemedicine that would allow providers to prescribe medication that can be picked up at a local pharmacy. Gulf Coast has contracts with Walgreens and Walmart in Port Arthur.

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The health center’s other locations, including one at 601B Rev. Ransom Howard St. in Port Arthur, are open and taking patients.

The HRSA’s donation of $5,897,008 to the Texas health centers stem from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that President Trump signed March 6. The act provides $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to COVID-19, including $100 million for HRSA-funded health centers nationwide.

“HRSA-funded health centers have been and will be critical players in our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. “The new grants we’re releasing [Tuesday] are a rapid injection of resources secured by President Trump from Congress in the supplemental funding bill, building on the strong investments HHS has made in health centers over the years. President Trump has emphasized a whole-of-government, whole-of-America response to the pandemic, and these grants will help health centers, which know the needs and resources of their communities best, to play their part.”

The funding will support health centers in emergency planning and response efforts, including expanding COVID-19 screening and testing capacity, purchasing supplies such as a personal protective equipment and providing safety education,

according to an HHS news release.

“HRSA-funded health centers will receive this funding as quickly as possible, so they can maintain their ability to deliver quality primary health care services to their patients while responding to developing needs in their communities,” HRSA Administrator Tom Engels said.