Health centers in state get $4 million, but not in Vancouver

No facilities in Vancouver applied for federal grants

By Katy Sword, Columbian staff writer



More than $4 million in grants for community health centers were announced Friday by Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., but Vancouver was left off the list.

Vancouver didn’t receive funding because the city doesn’t have a federally qualified health center that applied for the grant. Sea-Mar Community Health Center does have a center in Vancouver and received funding, but it’s unknown whether the funding will be divided among its locations statewide.

Funding is intended to help community centers increase access for substance abuse and mental health services. In total, more than $200 million was awarded to 1,178 health centers nationwide. Twenty-four centers in Washington will receive grants averaging $175,000 each.

“Community health centers provide a critical lifeline to health care for Washington’s most vulnerable patients and communities. Without access to community health centers, many children and families would not have access to primary care, dental care, mental health services and many other important health care services,” Cantwell said in a press release.

Murray said she’s glad for additional resources flowing into the state’s community health centers and “(I) will continue fighting for strong federal investments to support the important work they do to combat addiction and provide much-needed care to families across our state.”

The good news is Lifeline Connections in Vancouver will receive $524,000 to expand its services for women and children in residential substance abuse treatment facilities.

This grant funding is part of a much larger award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, totaling $144.1 million, to help combat the nationwide opioid crisis.

“Over the past year, I’ve heard from countless patients and families in Vancouver and across our state struggling with the devastating impacts of the opioid epidemic, so I’m pleased to see additional funding will soon be available to help more people struggling with addiction get the treatment and resources they need,” Murray said.

“For families suffering as a result of this epidemic, there’s no ‘later’ and there’s no ‘next time’ — and that’s why I will continue to push and fight for strong federal investments to make sure our communities receive the help they are calling for and so desperately need,” Murray said.