Today the White House announced a historic investment of $6 billion dollars in the nation’s community health centers to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing and treatment in communities hard hit by the virus and to expand health centers’ operational capacity.

The funding, derived from the American Rescue Plan Act approved by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 18, recognizes the shared priorities between the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the Biden Administration to bring greater health equity to at-risk communities and populations that health centers serve on the health care frontlines every day.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will release funds starting in April to nearly 1,400 health centers that provide primary care and preventative health services to 30 million people in urban and rural medically underserved communities. (See map and allowable uses for the funding announced by HHS.)

Tom Van Coverden, NACHC President and CEO, stated: “This is a historic investment. Not only is it aimed at ensuring equitable access to our patients in the fight against COVID, but it also marks a significant step forward to ensure greater equity in the nation’s health system overall.”

He said, “NACHC remains committed to working with the Administration and lawmakers to protect the health of the nation’s communities and to ensure that minority and communities of color and other vulnerable populations are not left behind today and in the future.”

More than 60 percent of health center patients are members of racial or ethnic minorities, and more than 91 percent of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below poverty levels.

For detailed information on how funding will be distributed nationwide, including state-by-state breakdowns and an interactive health center funding map, visit: https://bphc.hrsa.gov/program-opportunities/american-rescue-plan/awards.