BUCKSPORT, Maine — The Bucksport Regional Health Center will receive $2.4 million in federal stimulus funds for expansion to provide mental health services and chronic care counseling at the facility.
The local grant is part of nearly $600 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awards President Barack Obama announced Wednesday. The recovery act funds will support construction and renovation projects at 85 community health centers nationwide and help networks of health centers adopt Electronic Health Records and other Health Information Technology systems.
In prepared remarks to a gathering at the White House, which was scheduled to include John Corrigan, executive director of the Bucksport Regional Health Center, and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, Obama said the grants provide needed funds to the health centers to ensure that they continue to provide care for local residents.
“Together, these three initiatives — funding for construction, technology and a medical home demonstration project — won’t just save more money, and create more jobs, they’ll give more people the peace of mind of knowing that health care will be there for them and their families when they need it,” the president said. “Ultimately, that’s what health reform is really about.”
In his prepared remarks, Obama cited several health care centers around the country, including the Bucksport facility, to highlight the needs that exist at these facilities.
“We’re investing in places like Canyonlands Community Health Care in Arizona, that has one facility operating in a building originally constructed as a chicken coop and another in a cramped fire station. We’re investing in places like Avis Goodwin Community Health center in Dover, New Hampshire, that’s become so overcrowded the doctors are using bathrooms and closets as offices,” the president said. “We’re investing in Bucksport Regional Health Center in Maine, where doctors are double-booked and the waiting rooms are often standing room only. We’re giving places like these the funding they need to upgrade and expand their facilities so they can meet the skyrocketing demand for services that’s come with this economic downturn.”
The Bucksport project is expected to employ seven construction workers for the full year, six mental health care staff working on the first floor and five chronic care patient staff working on the second floor.
The president also announced an $802,951 grant for the Sacopee Valley Health Center in Parsonsfield.