$5M grants to clinics in Louisiana, Mississippi

Clinics serving low-income residents of Monroe, and Mound Bayou, Miss., have received $5 million each to expand in a federal program created as part of the new health care law.

Primary Health Services Center in Monroe and Delta Health Center Inc. in Mound Bayou also got $5 million — the most available under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program.

“We can’t believe it,” Catherine Tonore, chief executive of Primary Health Services, said. “This was our dream to expand the services for a very vulnerable population, the medically underserved.”

Six other Louisiana centers and three in Mississippi received smaller grants last week. They were part of more than $728 million for 398 renovation and construction projects around the country to let health centers care for additional patients.

Primary and Delta got money under a program for long-term expansion. Under that program, Jefferson Comprehensive Health, Center. Inc., of Fayette, Miss. got $3.7 million, Access Family Health Services Inc., of Smithville, Miss., received $1.6 million and Southwest Louisiana Primary Health Care Center Inc., of Opelousas, La., nearly $1.1 million.

They were among 171 health centers that received money under that program. Another 227 — including five in Louisiana and one in Mississippi — got up to $500,000 each for pressing facility and equipment needs.

Northeast Miss. Health Care Inc., of Byhalia, Miss., and two Louisiana clinics — Teche Action Board Inc., of Franklin, and Southeast Community Health Systems of Greensburg — received the maximum under that program. St. Thomas Community Health Center Inc., of New Orleans, received $498,565; David Raines Community Health Center of Shreveport $491,096 and Access Health Louisiana of Luling $479,367.