COLUMBIA, S.C. — The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that 23 community health care centers in South Carolina will receive $95,189,625 as part of the American Rescue Plan funding to support COVID-19 vaccinations and services for vulnerable populations.
The money will be distributed beginning in April by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Of the 23 locations in South Carolina, three are located in Columbia:
According to HHS, the selected health care centers will be able to use the funds to support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver needed preventive and primary health care services to those at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units. This investment will help increase access to vaccinations among hard-hit populations, as well as confidence in the vaccine by empowering local, trusted health professionals in their efforts to expand vaccinations.
HRSA-funded health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations, including high-need urban, rural, and frontier communities across the country. Health centers serve 1 in 5 people living in rural communities, and 1 in 11 people nationwide. More than 91% of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and nearly 63% are racial or ethnic minorities.