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Federal grant will fund new health clinic


Public health — Virginia Garcia Center receives $850,000 in federal aid to open low-income health center, targeted toward migrant workers

The Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center was one of 236 health care centers across the United States to receive a portion of $150 million in grants.

Mike Westling, public relations and marketing officer for Virginia Garcia, said they received the grant after ap­plying through the U.S. De­part­ment of Health and Human Serv­ices. The na­tion­wide grants are a part of the Affordable Care Act.

“Although the Affordable Care Act has dramatically improved access to insurance for many thousands of Oregonians, large portions of the state’s migrant farmworker population are still not going to be covered,” Gil Muñoz, Virginia Garcia CEO, said in a press release. “This grant will allow Virginia Garcia to improve the health center’s ability to reach patients where they live and work and grow our capacity to provide the best care for those who need it most.”

The $850,000 awarded to Virginia Garcia will fund a new health care center in Newberg.

Westling said the center was in the planning stages and contingent on receiving this grant.

The Newberg location, the third in Yamhill County for Virginia Garcia, will “provide high-quality health care services to uninsured residents and migrant farmworkers in Yamhill County by offering integrated primary care, behavioral/mental health, and oral health services in a unique setting that includes public health, substance abuse, and onsite WIC services,” ac­cord­ing to a press release.

It will also be used as an outpost for mobile services and outreach for farmworkers at local mi­grant camps.

Westling said the new location will serve thousands in Yam­hill County.

“Folks who otherwise have difficulties accessing the health care system,” he said.

He added the organization is in the process of looking into a few locations in Newberg, but have not selected one yet. He said he expects that decision to be made soon.

“Part of the grant is to put (services) in place quickly,” Westling said.

The same was said of the timeline to open the clinic. Westling said they don’t have a definitive timeline yet, but expect the process to move along rapidly.