By: Beau Boughamer
Talk about making stimulus dollars count!
The Times and Democrat in South Carolina reported on stimulus plans at Orangeburg-based Family Health Centers Inc.
Chief Executive Officer Donnie Hilliard says the $1,184,535 grant was awarded in July through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of $2 billion earmarked in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The federal money invests in community health centers, supporting renovations and repairs, health information technology and critically needed health care services.
Hilliard says federal officials decided to break out the grant into two different components. Approximately $380,000 will be used to replace outdated equipment. The remaining $804,535 will be used for structural renovations, repairs and maintenance. A request for bids has been released.
“We had to identify exactly what kind of equipment we wanted,” Hilliard said. “The funds will pay for 14 pieces of equipment and 10 renovation or repair projects at six of our sites.
In April, the FHC board of directors approved $439,000 in stimulus money that became effective June 1. The funds were used to hire a doctor and nurse practitioner to provide care on Saturdays and for extended evening hours during the week.
Hilliard says work has already begun on the heating and air-conditioning systems at the main FHC clinic in Orangeburg and at the Vance site.
“Those are inefficient by today’s standards,” Hilliard said. “Part of the accountability for the money is that all the renovation, repair and maintenance work has to be green and as environmentally friendly as possible.”