Last year, about 90 thousand low-income and underserved Nevadans depended on community health centers to access care. By the start of next year, about $11 million in federal funding could dry up, leaving these centers in limbo. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports.
At the end of last month, Congress failed to renew the Community Health Centers Fund which provides support to what’s known as Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs.
Sharon Chamberlain heads up Northern Nevada HOPES based in Reno and says about 70 percent of the federal funding her agency receives could run out in the next few months.
“What this does is it puts things on hold, in a lot of areas: hiring, construction, planning for new sites,” Chamberlain says.
There are six centers in Nevada providing services at more than 30 locations throughout the state.
“The ones that are going to get hit the hardest if this funding doesn’t occur are all the sister FQHCs throughout the state and throughout the nation," Chamberlain explains, "very small FQHCs that wouldn’t be able sustain that cut.”
Nevada Senators Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Dean Heller have joined a group of bipartisan senators urging Congress to support legislation that would reauthorize funding.