By Derek Spellman
Access Family Care has been awarded a federal grant of more than $635,000 for construction of a new clinic in Cassville.
Access Family Care is one of 20 health agencies in Missouri to receive funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to a release from U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
Don McBride, chief executive officer of Access Family Care, said the stimulus funds will be coupled with an additional $477,500 in federal funding to build the new clinic in Cassville.
“Cassville has been in our strategic plan for the last several years,” McBride said Tuesday.
The nonprofit organization has outgrown the space at its current clinic in Cassville, he said, and hopes to break ground in the fall for a new, 5,000-square-foot building. The current clinic at 1101 Main St. in Cassville has about 1,300 square feet.
“It’s been a good facility,” McBride said of the current building. “We’ve just outgrown it.”
The new clinic is to be built at Fasco Road and Clover Street on land donated to Access Family Care.
The larger clinic will offer space for patient education and group sessions centering on, for example, wellness and preventive programs. It also will create space for behavioral health programs.
McBride said the organization one day hopes to add dental services to the Cassville location.
Access Family Care is the only federally qualified health center in the area, and it uses a sliding fee schedule based on household income for uninsured and Medicaid patients.
That reimbursement allows Access Family Care to provide affordable health services to Medicaid patients, as well as patients who have health insurance or those who have no insurance.
The stimulus grants awarded to organizations like Access Family Care could be used for construction, repairs or renovations to buildings; for the purchase of new equipment or health information technology systems; or for the improvement or expansion of electronic health records.
Access Family Care was established in 1997 as the Ozark Tri-County Health Care Consortium.
The center is a nonprofit organization committed to providing comprehensive and preventive health care for low-income residents of McDonald, Barry and Jasper counties. The organization has clinics in Joplin, Anderson and Cassville. The sites provided care to more than 12,000 medical and dental patients in 2008, the organization said.
A total of $17 million in government grants was awarded to 20 health-care centers throughout Missouri, including more than $979,600 to Advocates for a Healthy Community in Springfield.
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