Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2003
Contact: Dave Nelson
(817) 424-3446

State Awards Grants to Area Health Centers

AUSTIN - Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, is pleased to announce that the state has awarded more than $3.6 million in grants that were created under legislation she authored in the regular session of the Texas Legislation.

Senate Bill 610 by Senator Nelson was designed to help position our area health centers to become eligible for new federal funding the Bush administration has earmarked to increase the number of federally qualified health centers operating nationwide. The effort is meant to provide additional alternatives for the uninsured and relieve the financial burden on our emergency rooms.

"I have been working extensively with the Department of Health to ensure that our medical community is ready to pounce on those federal dollars when they become available. Our hospitals cannot simply absorb the cost of treating patients who do not have insurance, and one way to help is to expand the ability of our community's charitable health programs to care for children and low income families," Senator Nelson said.

The state incubator grants awarded include $252,410 to the Denton County Health Department and $20,000 to the Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center, Inc. FQHCs are designed to provide health care to people in medically underserved areas, including many without health insurance. Texas has 181 FQHCs in 58 counties providing health care to 483,452 patients. More than 59 percent of those patients were uninsured.

Senator Nelson is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services and represents District 12, which includes the growing communities of Tarrant and Denton counties and part of the city of Fort Worth.

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