Eight Pennsylvania organizations to receive Challenge Grants

Sept. 5, 2001
Pennsylvania officials have announced that eight organizations will receive $1 million in Community Primary Care Challenge Grants to develop and implement medical and dental clinic services.

On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, state Health Department Secretary Robert S. Zimmerman Jr. has announced that eight organizations will receive $1 million in Community Primary Care Challenge Grants to develop and implement medical and dental clinic services.

"We are pleased to award these grants to improve access to primary care in underserved areas of the Commonwealth," Secretary Zimmerman said. "Families who previously were unable to receive some types of medical and dental treatment now will have improved access to health care services."

The Community Primary Care Challenge Grants are designed to address locally identified health-improvement priorities. The grants are used to promote the recruitment of health care practitioners; to increase clinical capacity and access; to encourage the development of health care systems in underserved areas; to stimulate community-based approaches to this development; and to maximize community participation through local health-improvement partnerships.

This year's award recipients follow:

Allegheny County

UPMC Health System-Matilda Theiss Health Center and Child Development Center, $118,892, to hire three part-time dental health professionals, including a dentist, dental resident and dental hygienist;

Bradford County

Bradford Regional Medical Center, $125,000, to fund a dental clinic in Bradford;

Columbia County

Berwick Health & Wellness Foundation, $125,000, to establish a dental clinic to serve Columbia, Montour and lower Luzerne counties;

Delaware County

ChesPenn Health Services Inc., $124,925, to fund an additional dentist specifically for children's dental services;

Franklin County

Keystone Rural Health Center, $125,000, to provide increased obstetric/gynecologic services by hiring a minority obstetrician/gynecologist who speaks Spanish;

Fulton County

Fulton County Partnership Inc., $100,000, to fund a dental clinic, including a full-time dentist, dental hygienist and dental assistant. This project will operate in conjunction with the current dental clinic, which currently is open only two days a week;

Lycoming County

Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition, $125,000, to fund a full-time dentist hygienist to provide preventative care, as well as case management, at Susquehanna Health System's Community Health Center. The funds also will add a dental coordinator to manage dental and office supplies; and

Northumberland County

Action Health, $125,000, to fund a dental clinic. The clinic initially will be open two per week and will gradually expand to four days per week as needed.

The Community Primary Care Challenge Grants program has awarded 42 grants since it began in 1993.

Funds are awarded to non-profit organizations or local governments.

Grants are awarded for a 24-month period and require a dollar-for-dollar match from the community. The number of grants awarded each year is based on the quality of the projects, the number of applications received, and the availability of funding.

For more information about the Community Primary Care Challenge Grants Program, call the Department of Health's toll-free helpline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH, or visit the department through the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at www.health.state.pa.us.