Bond Community Health Center has received more than a million in federal funding, and the dollars also mean Bond has regained its previously lost federal designation.
Due to an incomplete application in 2013, Bond Community Health Center lost its status as a Federally Qualified Health Center, and with it, millions in federal funding.
“I would say in the state of Florida, probably half of the uninsured patients receive their healthcare at a Federally Qualified Health Center,” said Dr. Temple Robinson, Bond's CEO. “Bond had this designation for greater than 20 years. We ran into some administrative and some logistic problems about a year ago.”
Robinson says now, after getting a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they finally got back that FQHC designation. And, she says it will help the underserved communities they serve in the Big Bend area.
“What it will do is help us care for the uninsured,” added Robinson. “This also benefits patients because if you’re a FQHC, patients also benefit from discounted drug prices. It also allows us to apply for something called the Federal Torts Claim Act, which is a federal type of malpractice insurance, instead of paying malpractice insurance premiums out of pocket. So, there are great benefits to having this designation.”
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says this is pivotal news for the community, recalling how he felt when he first heard the troubling news that Bond had previously lost out on millions in funds.
“All along my biggest regret around that whole exercise was the fact that the citizen, the customer, the client was going to be most hurt by that,” said Gillum. “And, so this influx of money into Bond will allow them the opportunity to see more clients, to bring more people into the healthcare fold. Most of our healthcare disparities that exist in this community are concentrated heavily in the neighborhoods of the Bond Community Health Center.”
And, Robinson says she thanks all those who have and continue to support them, adding their support has not gone to waste.
“We’re very passionate about what we do here at Bond,” she concluded. “We went through a rough patch. But, I always tell people that it’s not a comeback story because we haven’t gone anywhere. We just needed to get the funds back, and that FQHC designation. So, this is a good day for us.”
The $1.1 million grant comes on the heels of more good news. About two weeks ago, Bond also received word their Ryan White Part D Grant was renewed for about $473,000. It provides funding for uninsured HIV/AIDS patients.
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