Oak Orchard Health approved for $3.7 million from American Rescue Plan for Covid services

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2021 at 8:21 am

Oak Orchard Health has been approved for $3,737,875 in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan to expand Covid-19 vaccination, testing and treatment for underserved populations.

Oak Orchard also plans to use the funds deliver preventive and primary health care services to people at higher risk for Covid-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units.

Mary Ann Pettibon

“This is great news for all of us at Oak Orchard Health and is another reminder of the importance of all the work we do,” said Mary Ann Pettibon, CEO Oak Orchard Health.

The expanded services will be offered at Oak Orchard sites in Albion, Alexander, Batavia, Brockport, Corfu, Lyndonville, Hornell and Warsaw.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the funding on Friday. The money is part of nearly $400 million for 63 community health centers across New York State.

The senators said the community health centers are on the frontline of health care in the United States, particularly in rural and underserved areas, and provide a critical health care safety net during times of crisis.

“New York’s Community Health Centers are a cornerstone of the state’s healthcare system and have been our frontline armor in the battle against Covid-19, especially in underserved and disadvantaged communities where Covid hit the hardest,” Schumer said. “This critical federal investment, that I fought to secure in the American Rescue Plan, will help community health centers maintain their vital operations, providing health care to those at high risk of contracting Covid-19, and continuing to administer vaccines to as many New Yorkers as possible.”

Distribution of funding will begin in April through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA-funded health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care to high-need urban, rural, and frontier communities across the country.

Health centers serve 1 in 5 people living in rural communities, and 1 in 11 people nationwide. More than 91% of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and nearly 63% are racial or ethnic minorities.

“In the midst of this global pandemic, people across New York are turning to community health centers for affordable primary and preventative health care,” said Senator Gillibrand. “CHCs provide a wide-range of services to some of our most underserved populations and this funding will help address the pandemic challenge and the health disparities it has exacerbated within our communities and ensure these centers can continue providing quality care to every New York community.”