Strained Health Centers in Pennsylvania Awarded Millions in COVID Relief Funds

The sign for the Berks Community Health Center at Oakbrook, June 29, 2021. (Reading Eagle Photo via Getty Images/Ben Hasty)

By Ashley Adams

March 9, 2022

Health centers throughout the state that serve vulnerable populations will get over $27 million in American Rescue Plan funds to make capital improvements.

Thirty-eight health centers across Pennsylvania are about to get help in their ongoing efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has awarded over $27 million in American Rescue Plan funds to Pennsylvania health centers that serve medically underserved and other vulnerable populations and communities. 

Family First Health Corporation in York (York County), Keystone Rural Health Consortia in Emporium (Cameron County), Berks Community Health Center in Reading (Berks County), and others throughout the state will get a portion of the funds.

The financial stimulus is meant to strengthen primary health care infrastructure and advance health equity and health outcomes through projects that support COVID testing, treatment, and vaccination, according to a news release from the Department of Health and Human Services.

More than 91% of health center patients nationwide are individuals or families living at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines and nearly 63% are racial/ethnic minorities, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. These sections of the population have been disproportionately affected by COVID and other health conditions.

The pandemic has put an additional strain financially on rural health centers in Pennsylvania. Research has found that pre-pandemic, 47% of rural providers across the country were operating in the red.

Health centers can use the funding for COVID-19-related capital needs, constructing new facilities, renovating and expanding existing facilities, and purchasing new state-of-the-art equipment.


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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