Hawaii health centers to receive federal funding for COVID-19 response

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Medical staff prepares an AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine during preparations at the vaccine center in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany, Monday, March 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Fourteen community health centers in Hawaii will receive federal funding to expand COVID-19 vaccinations and services to vulnerable populations.

On Thursday, March 25, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that $31,969,250 in American Rescue Plan funding will be awarded beginning in April.

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Hawaii’s health centers may use the funds to support and expand COVID-19 vaccination and testing, deliver health care services to those at higher risk, and expand their operational capacity during the pandemic, including improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units.

“Every American should have the security of knowing they have access to quality, affordable health care, especially as we face a pandemic that has exposed the disparities facing rural, minority, and lower-income communities,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden Administration is committed to getting help to those who need it most, and the communities hit hardest by COVID-19 will benefit from these critical investments.”

The health centers funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are community-based organizations that deliver affordable health care to underserved communities. Health centers serve one in five people living in rural communities, according to HHS, and more than 91% of patients live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

For more information on how this funding is being distributed to health centers, click here.