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Health News Florida

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