Clinics Benefit from Federal Fast-Track Funding

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Local health clinics are looking forward to expanding staff and services, thanks to ‘fast-track’ funding from the federal stimulus package. Elizabeth Howell of the Community Healthcare Network says her nine-clinic group hopes to being hiring new doctors with the $500,000 she expects to get in record time.

The normal grant application to the federal government looks like the Yellow Pages to New York City. This application was less than 10 pages. Normally we could wait three to six months for a response. Here it was two to three weeks.

Howell says the federal funding will help the clinic network grow its 30,000 patient population by 10 percent. More than a third of them are uninsured – a proportion that’s increasing.

State-wide, more than 50 clinic networks are expecting funding from the first $25 million of federal stimulus money. That’s to be spent on new hires within 60 days. Much more money will be coming into clinics and hospitals across New York through the Medicaid system in the months ahead.