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Community health receives grant funding

The Georgia Department of Community Health’s State Office of Rural Health received $436,057 in stimulus funding through the Increased Demand for Services (IDS) grant and a portion of the grant money will go to help migrant workers in Decatur County.

The grant funding was allotted to expand services at six Migrant Health Center sites—which includes Decatur County Board of Health (DCBOH) serving Seminole, Grady, Thomas and Mitchell counties.

Other centers receiving the funding are the Migrant Farmworkers Clinic LLC ($93,989); Colquitt County Board of Health ($79,671); East Georgia Health Care Inc. ($30,707); Sumter Regional Hospital, Ellaville Primary Care ($52,841); and South Central Primary Care ($30,970).

The sites provide services as part of the Georgia Farmworker Health Program, which was created to improve the general health of the state’s migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families, according to the Georgia Department of Community Health. They do so by providing cost effective and cultural appropriate primary health care, arranging other levels of health care through collaboration and advocacy and working with local organizations and groups.

The grant money provides an additional $6 per health center patient and an additional $19 per health center uninsured patient. The allocation of funding for the separate facilities was determined based on patient information submitted by each of the health care centers in their 2008 or prior Uniform Data System report.

The IDS grant was provided as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed by President Obama on Feb. 17. The IDS grant funding is for the expansion of existing federal community health programs, including community health departments, migrant health centers, health care for the homeless and public housing primary care. In addition, the funding is meant to expand clinic hours, increase the availability of pharmaceuticals, increase outreach and health education and provide other vital clinic service to Georgia’s underserved people.