Feds OK $2.5M health center grant

The San Benito Health Foundation in Hollister has received $2.5 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to allow it to continue providing a wide range of primary health care services.

The foundation has operated its federally funded community health center since 2007. Located at 351 Felice Dr., the funds will enable it “continue to provide [its] patients with quality health education and preventative services, and to promote healthy lifestyles,” said Congressmember Jimmy Panetta, who announced the grant, which has a budget period from May 1, 2019 to April 20, 2020.

“Community health centers and clinics are integral to our region’s health care system,” said Panetta.  

San Benito Health Foundation program received the non-competing continuation award, which continues Health Center Program grant funding “to support the delivery of comprehensive, affordable, quality primary care services,” said the Congress member, whose district includes all of San Benito County.

The foundation said in its grant proposal that it will “seek to increase the number of persons identified as needing mental health and substance abuse services through a systematic screening of all patients receiving primary care services, as well as providing informational sessions regarding the effects of alcohol use and drug use,” according to Panetta’s office.

The foundation is hoping to invest in a state-of-the-art conference room for telemedicine meetings, virtual learning and group education sessions, the office said.

“These funds will enable our organization to provide comprehensive, quality, affordable services to all community members,” said Rosa Vivian Fernández, president and CEO of the foundation..  “As a patient-centered health center we strive to engage the community in early preventive medical care and treatment to enable our community to thrive. We also look forward to many years ahead as we navigate new frontiers in health care development such as telemedicine.  We invite community members to visit our clinic and experience firsthand the medical, dental, vision, WIC, nutrition, health education and supportive services offered,”

San Benito Health Foundation is a community health center, serving San Benito County and surrounding communities since 1975.

The funding for this grant comes through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center Cluster grant program.  The administration supports access to health care in rural areas, the training of health professionals, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most, and improvements in health care delivery.

The foundation offers medical, dental, behavioral health, comprehensive perinatal services and the supplemental nutrition program Woman, Infants and Children (WIC). plus preventative health care services.

“We believe in treating the whole person in a holistic approach, so all departments work as one team to care for you and your family,” said Fernandez in a statement. The foundation recently began a “Farm-to-Table” initiative to provide patients with a community garden and classes on how to prepare vegetables.

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