SEATTLE (June 8, 2016) – The City of Seattle today announced three awards totaling $2 million to promote capital improvements in Seattle’s network of community health care facilities. Following a competitive funding process, NeighborCare Health, Country Doctor Community Health Centers and International Community Health Services were selected as recipients.
“I applaud the work of our community health providers to improve the well-being of our most vulnerable residents and families,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, thousands more of Seattle residents have health care coverage, and now it’s our turn as a City to help expand local access to these critical health services.”
Following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more than 84,000 newly insured Seattle and King County residents enrolled in health care coverage—many of whom are now covered by Medicaid. The unprecedented demand for health care services required significant investment from the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) to help our community health care facilities expand and meet this new need.
“Despite the gains made by the Affordable Care Act, we know that many of our neighbors lack the medical care to meet basic everyday health needs,” said Catherine Lester, Seattle Human Services Department Director. “Access to quality, affordable and reliable community healthcare is fundamental preventing catastrophic health events that often send vulnerable individuals and families into poverty.”
HSD will fund more than $1.2 million to Country Doctor Community Health Centers to renovate their Capitol Hill site to provide low-barrier dental care to Medicaid recipients and lower-income individuals.
NeighborCare Health was awarded more than $400,000 to create a health care center inside the Dutch Shisler Service Center, providing wraparound services for people who are homeless and vulnerable.
International Community Health Services will receive $350,000 in funding to build an optometry clinic in the International District, which will serve lower-income populations with culturally and linguistically appropriate eye care services. Over 80 percent of Asian-Americans suffer from myopia, yet there are only eight optometrists in Seattle that accept Medicaid patients.
All funding recipients are Federally Qualified Health Centers.