Butte Falls to Benefit from Federal Grant

(WHITE CITY, OR.) Community Health Center has just been notified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Primary Health Care that is the recipient of a new federal grant award that will provide $281,623 over the next four months to assist the organization in establishing a safety net clinic in Butte Falls.

The Medford-based nonprofit will receive $650,000 annually starting in 2012 to support continued operations in Butte Falls and to establish outreach and satellite services in Prospect. The new clinic in Butte Falls will be a full service delivery site that will provide sliding-fee-scheduled primary and preventive health care services to an estimated 2,634 high-need rural residents. In making the grant award, the federal government gave preference to projects that proposed services in sparsely populated communities that were characterized by high rates of homelessness and poverty, or that evidenced unusual health disparities, morbidity and mortality. Collectively, the communities of Butte Falls, Union Creek, and Prospect met each of these funding criteria, and the overarching purpose of the grant-funded project is to establish primary health care services where none currently exist.

In July 2011, a $494,640 federal grant was awarded to Community Health Center, and two other federally qualified health centers, to purchase tele-medicine equipment. About 50 percent of these grant funds will be used to purchase the equipment necessary to bring tele-medical care to Butte Falls, Prospect, and Trail through video conferencing with medical providers and nurses who are stationed at Community Health Center’s White City practice and/or the School-Based Health Center at Eagle Point High School. The balance of the grant funds will purchase the same type of equipment for use by Waterfall Community Health Center (North Bend, Coos County) and South River Community Health Center (Winston, Douglas County). The tele-medicine equipment will primarily serve students in school settings, but when coupled with the most recent federal grant award, will also provide the backbone for service delivery to adults in targeted rural communities.

For many generations, the timber industry was the economic backbone of Butte Falls. “We know that many families are challenged by unemployment or under-employment and must carefully manage household resources. Given the current price of gasoline, traveling long distances to secure needed health care services only adds to families’ stress factors. Community Health Center is working to improve access to high quality, timely, and patient-centered health care services, and has long struggled to find a way to provide these services on an affordable and sustainable basis in the Upper Rogue region. Finally, there is an answer for our neighbors in Butte Falls and Prospect,” says Peg Crowley, Community Health Center’s Executive Director.

The awards included $28.8 million to 67 community health center programs across the country out of an application pool of 850 competitive grant proposals. The funding, made available by the Affordable Care Act, will help establish new health care service delivery sites for an additional 286,000 Americans who have been hit hard by the recession. Through the same federal grant mechanism, La Clinica del Valle Family Health Care also received $650,000 annually to hire staff for, and operate, a 40-foot clinic on wheels to provide medical, dental and behavioral health care services to targeted patient populations. A full list of new access point grants, listed by organization and state, is available at: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2011tables/110809newaccesspoints.html.

The Mission of Community Health Center is to promote the health of low-income, working uninsured and other vulnerable children and adults. Established in 1972 by a group of concerned community residents, the organization provides affordable primary and preventive health care services for patients of all ages through clinics located in Ashland, Medford, White City, and a school-based health center at Eagle Point High School.
For more information, please call 541-773-3863 or go to our website at: www.communityhealthcenter.org

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