TRENTON, NJ – Henry J. Austin Health Center today announced an infusion of $39,000 in emergency grant funding from the medical aid organization Direct Relief, in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.
Henry J. Austin Health Center (HJAHC) was among 518 federally qualified health centers to receive funding this week through Direct Relief’s $25 million Covid-19 Fund for Community Health, which recognizes the profound effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the finances, services, staff, and patients of community health centers.
HJAHC will use the funds to hire a community health worker that can help their patients navigate life during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are so grateful to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and Direct Relief for allowing these funds to be available for us during these turbulent times,” said Dr. Kemi Alli, Chief Executive Officer for HJAHC. “These funds will not only allow us to hire a community health worker but more importantly will allow us to help patients and their families navigate the often challenging and complex health care and social support systems in our community.”
“Access to primary care is what keeps people healthy and out of the hospital, and the frontline work of HJAHC and other nonprofit community health centers across the U.S. is more critical than ever with the onset of Covid-19,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe. “Direct Relief is doing everything possible to bolster the work and support the staffs at the safety-net health facilities on which so many patients and their families rely for excellent care and trust for advice in this public health emergency.”
Nearly 30 million (1 in 12) of the country’s most vulnerable residents — including 1 in 3 individuals living in poverty, 1 in 5 Medicaid beneficiaries, and 1 in 9 children — rely on federally qualified health centers like HJAHC for their health care. That number is expected to rise as more people lose employer-sponsored insurance.
“We are grateful for this critical and immediate support as Community Health Centers work hard to keep communities safe during an unprecedented pandemic,” said Tom Van Coverden, President & CEO of the NACHC. “We are also deeply appreciative of our longstanding partnership with Direct Relief in these uncertain times and their efforts to ensure that health centers confronting multiple challenges in underserved communities have the resources when and where they need them. We know that many donors and contributors have helped to make this fund possible, and we further extend our appreciation to all of them.”