Health agency gets stimulus funding to enroll more patients

Posted March 03, 2009, at 10:12 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:03 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot Community Health Care, which already serves close to 45,000 area residents at medical and dental clinics in the Bangor region, has received federal stimulus funding enabling it to enroll even more patients.

According to the Rev. Robert Carlson, board president of PCHC, the organization will invest about $650,000 in each of the next two years to hire additional staff and expand the hours of operation at its medical and dental clinics in Bangor and Old Town.

“We’ve been getting between 75 and 100 calls a week from people seeking medical care,” Carlson said Tuesday. “This funding will allow us to increase access.”

Between 65 percent and 70 percent of PCHC patients are covered by Medicaid or Medicare, have no insurance or are considered underinsured. The clinics offer sliding-scale fees for those who must pay out of pocket for health care.

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine’s 2nd District announced the targeted funding on Monday, praising the decision of the federal Department of Health and Human Services to award a total of about $2.6 million in stimulus funds to two primary care clinics in Maine. The other recipient is the public health clinic run by the city of Portland.

Nationwide, community health centers will share $2 billion in federal stimulus finds, including $1.5 billion for construction and technology and $500 million for increasing access to care.

mhaskell@bangordailynews.net

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