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Brewer gives $11.6M of stimulus money to health centers

The Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery announced Gov. Jan Brewer has awarded $11.6 million in federal stimulus money to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“Protecting the health and safety of the citizens of Arizona should be a priority of all elected officials, and it is my first priority as governor,” Brewer stated in a media release. “I am pleased to announce the release of a portion of my stimulus discretionary funds to Arizona’s community health centers, which will help provide important medical service for many citizens across our state.”

The Department of Health Services will be responsible for awarding and authorizing contracts with health centers in Arizona, both federally and non-federally qualified, to expand primary-care services to the indigent and uninsured population.

Tara McCollum Plese, director of government and media relations for the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, noted that the stimulus money will help cover more than 100,000 primary care and dental visits through 2010.

“Community Health Centers provide vital primary and preventative health care to Arizonans living in medically underserved areas of the state,” Plese stated in the media release. “Unfortunately, the state’s fiscal crisis resulted in the virtual elimination of the funding that enables health centers to provide medical services.”

Will Humble, interim director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, stated the $11.6 million will ensure comprehensive health care for all Arizonans during difficult economic times.

“Community health centers have a great track record because they are staffed by a variety of health professionals who work together to integrate all aspects of a person’s care,” Humble stated.

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