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Over $13 Million for Region's Primary Care

LRMC Family Health Center_0.jpg

Lakeland Regional Medical Center, which recently opened a new family health center, has won a $4 million grant  in a new state initiative to encourage more primary care for low-income Floridians.

LRMC is one of 28 winners in the state sharing $35 million in grants. In this region, five organizations were awarded a total of $13.4 million.

Aside from LRMC, the local winners are:

--Suncoast Community Health Centers, based in Riverview, $3.8 million.

--Tampa Family Health Centers, two grants, $2.5 million and $590,000.

--Tampa General Hospital, nearly $1.9 million.

--Pinellas County Health Department, $560,000.

The Agency for Health Care Administration announced the winners Monday in a press release. Winners include hospitals, county health departments and federally qualified health centers.
In July, LRMC set up a primary-care clinic across the street to divert patients who didn't need emergency-room care to a less-intensive setting. Before that opened, 40 percent of Lakeland's ER cases were non-emergent, contributing to the hospital having the busiest emergency room in the state.

Among established projects, Jackson Memorial was awarded the largest grant, $3.3 million, closely followed by Jessie Trice Community Health Centers, which will receive nearly $3.2 million.

The full list of grantees is on the AHCA Medicaid web site; go to this page and scroll down to LIP Distribution.

Health News Florida, journalism for a healthy state, is a service of WUSF Public Media. Question? Comment? Contact Editor Carol Gentry at 813-974-8629, by cell at 727-410-3266, or by e-mail at Carol.Gentry@HealthNewsFlorida.org.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.After serving two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia, Gentry worked for a number of newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times), the Tampa Tribune and Orlando Sentinel. She was a Kaiser Foundation Media Fellow in 1994-95 and earned an Master's in Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1996. She directed a journalism fellowship program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for four years.Gentry created Health News Florida, an independent non-profit health journalism publication, in 2006, and served as editor until September, 2014, when she became a special correspondent. She and Health News Florida joined WUSF in 2012.
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