ALTOONA — The UPMC Altoona Partnering for Health medical clinic is one of 40 new recipients to receive a grant through the state Department of Health’s Community-Based Health Care Subsidy Program. The medical office will use its $165,140 grant to enhance its primary care services to the underinsured and financially challenged in Central Pennsylvania.
The clinic plans to hire a full-time physician assistant and a licensed practical nurse, use the services of a UPMC Altoona registered dietitian for patient nutrition counseling services, and contract with Thompson’s Pharmacy of Altoona to provide prescription medication review and patient counseling.
The grants were announced Feb. 19 by Secretary of Health Michael Wolf and Physician General Dr. Carrie DeLone. The department’s Community-Based Health Care Subsidy Program was expanded with an additional $4 million under Gov. Tom Corbett and with the help of Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Chester) via Act 10 of 2013 to increase access to primary care services across Pennsylvania.
“This program, which is also a core tenet of Healthy Pennsylvania, really is mission-critical to improving health care access and helping bring immediate preventive primary care services to underserved areas of the state,” said Wolf.
For fiscal 2013-14 grants, 73 applications were received by the department and 40 grants were distributed in 27 counties. Eligible facilities included federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, free clinics, hospital clinics and nurse-managed care clinics. The grant period began Jan. 1 and will conclude June 30, 2015.
Corbett’s recently proposed budget doubles the investment in the Community-Based Health Care Subsidy Program, providing $8 million to Pennsylvania’s community-based health care clinics and funding four additional health centers and clinics, in addition to 36 existing health centers and clinics.