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Community Health Center awarded grant

Funding will help the center test for COVID-19

Community Health Center of Fort Dodge announced Friday it is receiving a $50,000 grant that will help the center test for COVID-19.

The emergency grant funding was made possible through the medical aid organization Direct Relief in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.

“Access to primary care is what keeps healthy people out of the hospital, and the frontline work of Community Health Center of Fort Dodge and other nonprofit community health centers across the U.S. is more critical than ever with the onset of COVID-19,” said Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief. “Direct Relief is doing everything possible to bolster the work and support the staffs at the safety-net health facilities on which so many patients and their families rely for excellent care and trust for advice in this public health emergency.”

The funding will be used to help Community Health Center continue to serve the health care needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Health Center has expanded to six days a week for COVID-19 testing. The tests will be administered Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The center, which offers medical, dental and behavioral health services, is also providing telehealth appointments and carside care.

Community Health Center is among 518 federally qualified health centers to receive funding this week.

According to information shared by the center, nearly 30 million or 1 in 12 of the country’s most vulnerable residents — including 1 in 3 individuals living in poverty, 1 in 5 Medicaid beneficiaries and 1 in 9 children — rely on facilities like Community Health Center for health care. That number could rise as more people lose employer-sponsored insurance amid the pandemic.

“We are grateful for this critical and immediate support as Community Health Centers work hard to keep communities safe during an unprecedented pandemic,” said Tom Van Coverden, president and CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers. “We are also deeply appreciative of our longstanding partnership with Direct Relief in these uncertain times and their efforts to ensure that health centers confronting multiple challenges in underserved communities have the resources when and where they need them.

“We know that many donors and contributors have helped to make this fund possible, and we further extend our appreciation to all of them.”

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