Thanks to a more than $500,000 grant made available through the Affordable Care Act, the Hendersonville-based Blue Ridge Community Health Services will be able to provide health care services at a new clinic in Brevard, N.C.
“It’s all about increasing access to healthcare,” explains Milton Butterworth, the Director of Development and Community Outreach at Blue Ridge Community Health Services. The nonprofit currently provides health care to children and adults including family and pediatric medicine, dental services, medication assistance and behavioral health.
This clinic has been in the works for some time, but due to national budget cuts, funding for the project was denied for twice. However, Butterworth says, this did not discourage the nonprofit from applying again. The awards, announced today by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, total $128.6 million and will go to community health centers in 41 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Now, the nonprofit is one of 219 health centers to receive a grant.
“We have been working closely with leadership in Transylvania county including county government, the hospital and the health department,” he says. “A major part of winning this grant is showing that we have done the groundwork.”
The center hopes to serve about 3,800 patients annually, and will begin seeing patients as early as October.
Read the full announcement below:
Blue Ridge Community Health Services (BRCHS) has been awarded over $550,000 in grant funding made available by the Affordable Care Act to open a new health clinic in Brevard that will increase access to affordable, comprehensive health services in Transylvania County.
The new “Brevard Health Center” will offer a full spectrum of health care services for all residents of Transylvania County and neighboring communities, including primary care for adults and children, dental services, medication assistance, and behavioral health. The Center will accept most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare. However, the Center’s mission will be to improve access for low-income individuals and will accept patients without insurance on a sliding scale that is based on family size and household income.
“Patients without insurance often put off seeking important preventive and ongoing care for chronic conditions, which can lead to acute conditions and serious challenges to managing one’s care. This makes our role as a community health center that much more important,” said Shannon Dowler, MD, BRCHS Chief Medical Officer. “At Brevard Health Center, we will be in a position to work together with our patients so that they are truly able to take an active, appropriate role in managing their care.”
The Brevard Health Center has been a goal of BRCHS for several years. “The need to increase access to a medical home for the uninsured in Transylvania County was brought to our attention by community leaders over two years ago,” said Jennifer Henderson, CEO of BRCHS. “We had previously applied for this expansion grant in 2010, but the grant was unfunded in the first round. We are thrilled to receive this funding and look forward to working with our new partners in Transylvania County to improve access to health care.”
The clinic is scheduled to begin seeing patients by October 1, in its planned location at 89 Hospital Drive in Brevard.
BRCHS has been serving western North Carolina for almost 50 years in an effort to provide high quality and affordable medical, dental, school and behavioral health care as well as promote health
awareness/education. If you would like more information about BRCHS, call 692-4289 ext. 2509; write to BRCHS at P. O. Box 5151, Hendersonville, NC 28793; or online at www.brchs.com or