The Ledger: Millions in grants awarded to Central Florida Health Care
WINTER HAVEN -- Central Florida Health Care Inc. has received $2,612,140 in grants from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration.
Since March 24, the HRSA distributed $4.5 million in grants to HRSA-supported health centers in Central Florida, according to HRSA director of communications, Martin A. Kramer. More than half of that went to Central Florida Health Care.
Ann Claussen, chief executive officer for Central Florida Health Care, said the money will be used to buy COVID-19 tests, supplies and protective equipment, as well as secure staff when necessary to help with the testing. It will be applied to coverage of Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties.
“All of that can help serve the underinsured population and purchase COVID test supplies and equipment,” she said.
The CFHC mobile testing unit has been active in Polk County, and has visited communities in Haines City and Lake Wales. On Friday, it will head to the Florence Villa neighborhood in Winter Haven. Other future test sites include Mulberry, Lake Alfred and Auburndale, she said.
“We will put it to good use,” she said.
Wherever the mobile unit travels, the CFHC has offered education on social distancing, hand-washing and other ways to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, said the HRSA grants will also help in “combatting racial disparities in Central Florida” by making testing more “accessible to communities of color which are being hit the hardest right now.”
According to the Centers of Disease Control statistics, almost one-third of infections nationwide have affected African Americans and nearly one-third of those who have died are African American.