Grant Money Helps Local Clinic Reach Rural Patients

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COLUMBIA- The Family Health Center of Boone County in Columbia will receive $2,573,997 from a federal government program. The Capital Development-Building Capacity Program money will build a family health center and dentist's office in the rural community of Marceline. 

Marceline is located in Linn County, where 41 percent of Linn County's population lives with a yearly salary of $46,100 for a family of four.

Currently, the Family Health Center in Marceline is equipped with one doctor, two registered nurses and a receptionist. The grant will assist the center by moving it into a new facility and expanding to include a dentist. As of now, residents of Marceline and surrounding rural areas have to drive 25 miles to be see by a dentist.

Chief Executive Officer Gloria Crull says she is looking forward to expansion. The grant, filed Nov. 7, 2011, has a target population of Linn County's 5,097 residents.

The grant program gave Missouri health clinics more than $10 million in grants from the Affordable Care Act. The money will also go to community health centers in Springfield and Kansas City.

Since 2009, employment at community health centers nationwide has increased by 15 percent.

The Family Health Center of Boone County is working with architects and companies to get a set plan laid out for the new health center. Crull said construction should start this summer.