Sunday, June 17, 2018
Health

Premier Community HealthCare Group receives federal grant

DADE CITY — A nonprofit organization that provides primary medical care for low-income and uninsured residents has won a $253,750 federal grant to expand its facilities as part of federal health care reform.

Premier Community HealthCare Group, with locations in east and west Pasco, received the money as part of the Affordable Care Act, which pumped a total of $21.4 million into community health centers in Florida and more than $728 million into health care centers across the United States. In Florida, clinic operators expect these awards will help them serve approximately 41,190 new patients.

Premier CEO Kim Schuknecht said the money will be spent turning space that once held paper medical records into additional exam rooms, waiting areas or other office space that is freed up now that all medical records are electronic.

"The need is growing," she said. The renovations will take place at the Zephyrhills clinic and the women's care and behavioral health clinics on Pasco Avenue in Dade City.

In a development unrelated to the grant, Premier is closing its primary care office at 6636 Forest Ave. in New Port Richey and moving June 4 to a new location at 2114 Seven Springs Blvd. Suite 300 in Trinity.

Schuknecht said the new location offers more parking spaces and gives the clinic room to expand into more suites. She said it is easily accessible through the public bus system so the move should not cause transportation problems.

The clinic, which began more than 30 years ago in east Pasco, has expanded in recent years to west Pasco. It accepts Medicare and Medicaid as well as private insurance plans. Uninsured patients are charged on a sliding fee scale based on income.

When the west Pasco clinic first opened, 85 percent of patients had no health insurance. That has since decreased to about 65 percent.

"We help them get on Medicaid or Medicare," Schuknecht said. "A lot of people didn't even realize the programs were available to them."

Her statements about the role community health care centers play were echoed by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"For many Americans, community health centers are the major source of care that ranges from prevention to treatment of chronic diseases," she said in a news release. "This investment will expand our ability to provide high-quality care to millions of people while supporting good paying jobs in communities across the country."

Nationwide, the grants across the United States will support renovation and construction projects, boosting health centers' ability to care for additional patients and creating jobs.

According to the health and human services department, the awards are part of a series of capital investments that are made available to community health centers through the Affordable Care Act, which provides $9.5 billion to expand services over five years and $1.5 billion to support major construction and renovation projects at community health centers.

Overall, since the beginning of 2009, employment at community health centers nationwide has increased by 15 percent. And, primarily due to the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act, federal officials say, community health centers are serving nearly 3 million additional patients today and will serve an additional 1.3 million additional new patients in the next two years.

Comments
Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

The extensive government trial was intended to settle an age-old question about alcohol and diet: Does a daily cocktail or beer really protect against heart attacks and stroke?To find out, the National Institutes of Health gave scientists $100 millio...
Published: 06/16/18
More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults are taking prescription drugs, including hormones for contraception, blood pressure medications and medicines for heartburn, that carry a potential risk of depression, according to a study published in the Journal...
Published: 06/12/18
It’s time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

It’s time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

Courtney Bilyeu was running toward the murky water alongside a few military officers when it happened.She was an accountant for the U.S. Navy at the time. And on her way to take a swim with some coworkers in a California beach, she saw blood. The wat...
Published: 06/12/18
It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

The next time you head to the drugstore to buy sunscreen, don’t forget to pick up some sunglasses, too. That’s because both products work to protect your body from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.Wearing sunglasses for protection should not be re...
Published: 06/09/18
In St. Pete, kidney patients gather for science and solidarity

In St. Pete, kidney patients gather for science and solidarity

ST. PETERSBURG — Kidney disease doesn’t discriminate.The crowd of more than 200 patients who gathered at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort range in age from teenagers to seniors. They are of different ethnicities and come from all over the...
Published: 06/08/18
Mayo Clinic Q&A: melanomas of the eye; how long should you take a beta blocker?

Mayo Clinic Q&A: melanomas of the eye; how long should you take a beta blocker?

YES, MELANOMAS CAN BEGIN IN THE EYEIs it true that melanoma can develop in the eyes? If so, how common is it? How is it treated?Melanomas can begin in the eye, a condition called intraocular melanoma. Treatment for intraocular melanomas used to prima...
Published: 06/08/18
For writer, using a heart rate monitor takes HIIT from frightening to fun

For writer, using a heart rate monitor takes HIIT from frightening to fun

High-intensity interval training is one of the biggest trends in fitness, but it has always seemed a bit scary to me. To a mere mortal with achy knees and an aging body, even the acronym — HIIT — sounded intimidating.But recently, I overcame my fears...
Published: 06/08/18
Enjoy broccolini the Italian way: ‘dragged’

Enjoy broccolini the Italian way: ‘dragged’

By KATIE WORKMANOne of the amazing things about Italian food is that the best dishes are often so completely, refreshingly simple. Like, four-ingredient simple. (We don’t count olive oil and salt. Or water. Or air.) I love broccoli. I can roast brocc...
Published: 06/08/18
What to get Dad? Try a Father’s Day gift that will do him good

What to get Dad? Try a Father’s Day gift that will do him good

Dads are notoriously tough to shop for. They’re not all that great at dropping hints, the way moms do, and if you ask what your dad might want or need for Father’s Day, he’ll likely say, "Nothing" or "Don’t spend your money" or "I just want to be wit...
Published: 06/08/18
Tampa council hears mixed messages on free-roaming roosters in Ybor City

Tampa council hears mixed messages on free-roaming roosters in Ybor City

TAMPA — Ybor City roosters and chickens can peck away in peace. For now.The Tampa City Council asked city attorneys and code enforcement officials Thursday to continue studying how to reduce the growing flock in the city’s historic heart, but no acti...
Published: 06/07/18