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US lawmakers announce medical funding

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U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., along with U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., announced $6.2 million in federal funds for five of the state's medical centers.

On April 4, the lawmakers said the funding for five medical centers in West Virginia will continue operations and improve preventive care.

"For West Virginians living in rural and underserved areas, community health centers provide important, affordable access to primary and preventive care, which is essential to keeping our entire population healthy," Rockefeller said. "When the closest hospital center is miles and miles away, there's a peace of mind that comes with knowing there's someone nearby who can help with your health issue, or that of your loved one. This funding boost will help grow and support these critical facilities that do so much for the health and well-being of people across our state."

"All West Virginians deserve access to quality, affordable health care," Manchin said. "This funding will help strengthen and expand treatment services for our health facilities that provide our children, families and seniors – especially in West Virginia's more rural areas – with the preventative and primary care necessary to help keep West Virginians healthy and well."

"Community Health Systems in Beckley can do a lot of good with this money in expanding access to high quality medical care in the region. I fully intend to use my seniority and experience to continue to secure Federal investments in our health care workforce and clinics," Rahall said.

The Health Center Cluster grant is a competitive grant created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It provides financial assistance to health centers that offer comprehensive primary and preventive health care services to underserved or rural areas. The funding comes from the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Federal Assistance Management.

The individual award amounts are:

· $3,113,979 – Shenandoah Valley Medical Systems – Martinsburg, W. Va.

· $2,212,835 – Community Health Systems – Beckley, W. Va.

· $273,703 – Cabin Creek Health Center – Dawes, W. Va.

· $330,125 – Wirt County Health Services Association – Elizabeth, W. Va.

· $338,356 – Womencare – Scott Depot, W. Va.

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