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Worcester community health centers land $11M in federal bailout funds

Worcester’s two community health centers will receive a total of more than $11 million in federal funding as part of March’s American Rescue Plan, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) announced Thursday.

The Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center will receive nearly $6.3 million and the Family Health Center of Worcester just over $5 million. They’re two of 37 such community health centers across Massachusetts receiving a total of $144 million in federal funds.

Community health centers have been on the forefront of battling the coronavirus pandemic, with a patient population that’s less likely to have health insurance and more likely to face barriers to care. Public health experts have called the pandemic a health crisis that has highlighted and worsened health inequalities between the wealthy and poor, and those of different races and ethnicities.

The American Rescue Plan is President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion proposal to inject more money into the economy by providing additional funds to health centers, businesses and individuals.

Worcester’s community health centers treated more than 57,000 patients in 2018, totaling nearly 315,000 visits, according to a report they commissioned that was released in February. More than 90% of the centers’ patients are low-income and more than 70% identify as a racial or ethnic minority.

Worcester Business Journal