In 2003 the Family Health Center was in such a state of economic distress that it was forced to let half its staff go. Now, the center has “turned the corner” and received five years of guaranteed funding from the federal government, Executive Director Gloria Crull said.
Funded by the Health Resources Services Administration, Bureau of Primary Health Care, the five-year grant guarantees the center $816,070 annually to support operations. The center’s annual operating budget is $3.3 million.
The federal agency rates grant applicants by examining community needs and the extent of the applicant’s role in addressing those needs. In previous years, the Family Health Center won 12-month grants. This new award means it won’t have to compete with others for at least five years.
Crull expects the award will save the center considerable time in development of grant applications. Though it doesn’t mean more money per year, it does mean the staff will spend less time on paperwork. The center still will have to submit annual applications that outline changes in its business and health plans, but the process will be much easier.
“In essence, this is a vote of confidence by the federal government because they have recognized the degree to which we have addressed our problems and they’re willing to commit to support us for a five-year period,” Crull said.
Crull added that the government would be hesitant to extend the grant award if it weren’t confident the Family Health Center can remain financially viable.
The health center recently moved to its new location in the Sanford-Kimpton Health Facility, 1001 W. Worley St.
U.S. Sen. Jim Talent toured the facility in June and presented the center with a $246,040 federal grant on June 18.
Talent spokesman Rich Chrismer said the senator was impressed with the facility and the work it does.