WILMINGTON, DE (June 20, 2012) – Westside Family Healthcare received notification today from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a press conference held at Westside’s Wilmington location, that it is one of 219 health centers across the nation to receive New Access Point (NAP) funding. This grant will enable the organization to open a community health center in Middletown, DE. The health center will receive $1.2 million in funding support over a two year period and will open in Fall 2012. The Middletown center will serve a target population of nearly 21,000 individuals, 51% of whom have incomes that fall below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and 23% of whom lack health insurance.
President and CEO Lolita Lopez stated, “The greater Middletown community has grown rapidly over the past several years, yet access to affordable quality healthcare has not grown at the same rate as this diverse, high-need community. The funding announced today will enable us to continue to fulfill our mission of providing equal access to quality healthcare to those most in need, bridging the gap in critical healthcare services for this community.”
Westside Family Healthcare will implement its comprehensive patient-centered medical home model within the Middletown health center, reaching underserved populations in southern New Castle and Northern Kent Counties. Once fully implemented in the Fall of 2012, this model will include primary medical care from newborn to geriatric patients, perinatal care, women’s health, and behavioral health services. Through partnerships and contracts with local health providers and through referral to other Westside Family Healthcare locations, patients of the Middletown site will have easy access to dental, podiatry, endocrinology, and ophthalmology services.
“In order to strengthen our health care system, we must keep people as healthy as possible and prevent them from becoming sick in the first place,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Westside Family Healthcare will greatly reduce the number of Delawareans suffering from common, costly – and often preventable – diseases which, in turn, will reduce our country’s health care costs. Over the years I have seen first-hand the vital role that these Community Health Centers play in our nation’s health care delivery system by providing access to primary care and preventive health services for uninsured and under-insured Americans in Delaware and across the country. This is why I am so thrilled that Westside has received this new grant, which will allow more Delawareans in Middletown and surrounding areas to receive access to health care services.”
The center’s opening is an important opportunity to increase the health and well-being of Delawareans who reside in southern New Castle and Northern Kent Counties. Recently, Kent County’s residents were identified as having the poorest quality of health among all three counties. Within the service area for this grant, residents experience high incidences of hypertension, asthma, and diabetes, as well as high rates of late entry into prenatal care. For these populations, access to affordable primary medical, oral and behavioral health care is their most pressing barrier, compounded by severe health disparities.
“I’m pleased that Delawareans in the Middletown area will now have access to the high quality services Westside Family Healthcare offers,” said U.S. Congressman John Carney. “Delaware’s federally qualified health centers provide critical services to the uninsured and underinsured throughout our state. Throughout my career, I have worked hard to help our FQHCs execute their mission across Delaware and Westside’s new office in Middletown will provide thousands of additional Delawareans with these critically needed services.”
U.S. Senator Chris Coons further stated, “All Delawareans deserve to have access to affordable basic health care no matter where they live in the state. Due to the changing demographics of Delaware, our health care facilities have to adapt to ensure they are properly serving our residents. Westside Family Healthcare has been a leader in our state’s Community Health Centers and this federal funding will help them to continue to treat those who are underserved in our health care system. Congratulations to Westside Family Healthcare for today’s announcement and I look forward to seeing its positive impact on our community.”
For 24 years, Westside Family Healthcare has been committed to understanding and responding to the needs of medically underserved populations throughout the state where more than 100,000 Delawareans are uninsured. Westside grew from a two-room health center in 1988 to operating five health centers in New Castle and Kent Counties that served nearly 25,000 patients in 2011. By opening the Middletown location, Westside will continue to fulfill its commitment to providing equal access to medically underserved populations throughout Delaware.