Health center getting $1.2M in grants

Hometown Health Centers has received $1.2 million in grants as part of the federal stimulus package,

Hometown Health Centers has received $1.2 million in grants as part of the federal stimulus package, part of a wave of grants announced nationwide Wednesday.

The Obama administration awarded a total of $851 million in funding to address immediate health center and equipment needs and increase health care access for Americans. The money is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A total of $374,989 was awarded to accommodate increased patient demand and $825,645 for capital improvements at what was listed as “Schenectady Family Health Services” — the former name of Hometown.

The federally qualified health center located at 1044 State St. serves the community’s poor, uninsured and under-insured. It is the primary care provider for more than 20,000 local residents. The center has a staff of 80 employees and an annual budget more than $6 million.

Chief Executive Officer Joe Gambino could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening. Metroplex Development Authority Chairman Ray Gillen said the county is happy that Hometown is getting this financial boost.

“These centers are on the front line of health care,” he said.

He added that county officials have supported this facility and the Schenectady Free Clinic.

Metroplex had loaned then-Schenectady Family Health Services $1.5 million to help with renovation of the new building. Previously, the center had operated out of a cramped former school building on Craig Street.

The only other grant awarded Wednesday in the Capital Region was to the Whitney Young Community Health Center in Albany, which received $312,420 to accommodate additional patient demand and $955,565 for capital improvements.

Government officials announced that this third round of health center grants would help more than 1,500 health center sites nationwide with renovation, 650 with the purchase of new equipment or health information technology systems and nearly 400 to adopt and expand the use of electronic records, according to a news release.

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