Miami-Dade County

Primary care to expand with federal funds

As the country struggles with a shortage of primary care doctors, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that it would give $13.4million to 48 health centers in Florida to expand primary care services.

The grants, established by the Affordable Care Act, will pay the salaries of about 215 health workers statewide and enable health centers to stay open longer, as well as to expand care in dentistry, mental health and ophthalmology, HHS said in a statement. The funds are expected to help health centers reach more than 69,000 new patients in Florida, the agency said.

The Florida grants are part of $295 million being given for the same purpose to 1,195 health centers around the country, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and territories in the Pacific.

The Miami Beach Community Health Center is to receive $294,462, and in Hialeah, the Citrus Health Network has been allocated $285,890. In Fort Lauderdale, the North Broward Hospital District will receive $207,794, while the Broward Community and Family Health Centers in Hollywood are to get $222,230.

In Miami, the recipients are the Borinquen Health Care Center, which is to receive $321,038; Camillus Health Concern, $212,870; the Center for Family and Child Enrichment, $187,000; Community AIDS Resource, $222,862; Community Health South Florida, $506,952; Empower U Inc., $187,000; and the Jessie Trice Community Health Center, $322,628.

The Trice center has also just received two other ACA grants. On Thursday, HHS announced that Trice would receive $250,000 to help it enroll members of racial and ethnic minorities in ACA health insurance plans, part of $3.2 million in awards for the purpose to 13 organizations around the country. Last month, HHS said Trice would get $250,000 to renovate a residential center for women.