For Immediate Release
May 31, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Health Centers in Hutchinson and Pittsburg Receive Funding

Kansans will benefit from a new grant of $555,067 for the PrairieStar Health Center in Hutchinson, and $716,667 in additional funding for the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas in Pittsburg. The funding is part of a nationwide $45 million package recently announced by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

“Community health centers provide a vital link to healthcare services that many Kansans rely upon,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “We are very pleased to know that support for community health centers is continuing and will be enhanced.”

In Kansas, 60 percent of the patients treated at community health centers have no insurance coverage.

PrairieStar had its roots in a local, non-profit clinic organized by the Reno County Health Department in 1991. Clinic services were provided through a three-year rural health outreach grant. At the end of the funding period, Hutchinson Hospital stepped forward to provide financial support for the project. The clinic first received state funding in 1998 through the KDHE primary care clinic grant program.

Mt. Carmel Community Health was established in 1997. Renamed in 2003, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) is a federally qualified health center providing primary medical, dental and mental health services to more than 8,000 people at seven locations in Pittsburg, Frontenac and Columbus. CHC/SEK receives state support to provide primary care, medication assistance and prenatal care services.

With the added funding, annual federal support for community health centers in the state has reached $8.2 million. Nationwide, the grants will be used to establish 86 new health center sites in 33 states and the District of Columbia.