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PA Health Department Awards Community Primary Care Challenge Grants

More than $1.1 Million Awarded for Medical and Dental Clinic Services

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson today announced the award of more than $1.1 million in Community Primary Care Challenge Grants to expand access to primary medical and dental care in Pennsylvania's underserved communities.

The grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations, local governments and community-based health improvement partnerships to create or expand primary care medical and dental clinics in federally designated underserved areas.

"Equity in access to healthcare services is an important part of Governor Rendell's Prescription for Pennsylvania, and the Community Primary Care Challenge Grants give hundreds of Pennsylvanians the chance to get regular medical and dental care right in their own communities," Dr. Johnson said. "These grants bring families living in medically underserved areas a step closer to receiving the proper care they need and deserve."

The grants are designed to address locally identified health improvement priorities. The grants promote the recruitment of health care practitioners; increase clinical capacity and access; encourage the development of health care systems in underserved areas; and maximize community resources.

Grants are for a 24-month period and require a dollar-for-dollar match from the community. The number of grants awarded each year is based on the quality of the projects, the number of applications received and the availability of funding.

The Community Primary Care Challenge Grant program has awarded 94 grants since it began in 1993. Since then, 42 rural and 52 urban communities have benefited from the funding.

For more information about the Community Primary Care Challenge Grant Program, visit the Department of Health Web site at

EDITOR'S NOTE: The grant recipients are as follows:

Fayette County

Wesley Church Health Center, Inc., $96,799, will increase access to primary care services by increasing the hours of the existing primary care practitioner, hiring a part-time medical assistant and purchasing equipment to perform patient screenings on-site and in the community.

Lancaster County

Southeast Lancaster Health Services, Inc., $150,000, will expand access to primary care services by adding two full time primary care practitioners.

Lycoming County

Divine Providence Hospital, $150,000, will improve access to primary dental services by adding a dentist at the Susquehanna Dental Center.

Mercer County

Primary Health Network, $150,000, will increase access to primary care services at its Jamestown site by adding a full time internal medicine physician.

Northampton County

St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, $149,995, will increase access to primary care and dental services at the Donegan Family Center by adding a primary care practitioner, dentist, and supporting staff.

Perry County

Sadler Health Center, Inc., $150,000, will increase access to dental services by establishing a new dental clinic in Loysville.

Philadelphia County

Philadelphia Department of Public Health, $150,000, will expand access to dental by adding a part-time dental hygienist and dental assistant at two health care centers in the city.

To Our Children's Future with Health, $150,000, will expand access to primary care for children served through after school programs within the Haddington Community Health Project and the Nicetown-Tioga Improvement Team collaborative.

CONTACT: Larissa Bedrick

(717) 787-1783

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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