Nevada Health Centers receives grant |

Nevada Health Centers receives grant

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

Nevada Health Centers Inc., was awarded $210,917 to expand health care services for low-income residents.

In addition to providing primary health care to everyone regardless of ability to pay, the private, nonprofit organization operates the Mammovan for women’s health screening and provides services to both the Carson City Jail and juvenile detention facilities.

“This is a capacity-building grant, the funds specified for a physician’s assistant and support staff for our Mammovan. We’ll also be adding a physician’s assistant at the Wendover Clinic in Northeastern Nevada,” said Steve Hansen, chief executive officer of the organization. “I haven’t received any official word concerning the grant.”

The award was one of 131 grants, totaling $55.8 million, made under President Bush’s Health Centers Initiative to expand community health centers nationwide.

“Organizations like Nevada Health Centers Inc. enable the indigent and others struggling with health care to get the primary care they need,” said Elizabeth M. Duke, administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration. “These awards will strengthen access to care for America’s most vulnerable individuals.”

The clinics in Nevada are just a few of the 850 federally qualified health centers across the country, receiving about a third of their funding through the Bureau of Primary Health Care.

Organized in 1977, Nevada Health Centers moved its headquarters from Hawthorne to Carson City in 1996 and has about 130 employees statewide. Sierra Family Health Center in Carson City is one of 14 the organization operates in Nevada.

“We offer services on a sliding fee, based on the income information patients provide,” Hansen said. “The Carson City clinic is staffed with a internist, a pediatrician and two physician’s assistants and we had about 1,200 patients last month.”

The federal program funds a national network of more than 3,300 community health centers, migrant health centers, health care for the homeless, public housing primary care centers and school-based health centers which annually serve about 11 million low-income patients.