Grant Aids Low-Income Clinic
With dignitaries on hand Friday, the Community Health Center of Central Missouri hosted an open house to raise public awareness about the $600,000 grant awarded to establish a new health center.
The grant is part of a $61 million nationwide initiative designed to help half a million americans receive proper health care.
"That will help us hire physicians, dentists, mental health professionals to provide the services that people are needing," says Alan Stevens, the clinic's executive director.
Missouri Health Centers provide low-income Missourians with health services like dental and mental health care. The new grant money will help expand these services by doubling staff and the clinic's capacity for patient treatment.
Russ Miller, the only licensed professional counselor located at the clinic, spends an average of two hours every week seeing patients there.
"That is the reason we're trying to expand some of the mental health ability here, to where we got another provider coming in here for another half day to open up some more avaliability for them and more slots so they can be seen," explains Miller.
The center charges for health care services according to patient income, and does not require that its patients be insured.
Four in 10 patients treated at Missouri Health Centers have no insurance, many more have poor coverage, and another 40 percent receive Medicaid.