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Local health clinics land federal grants to hire medical, dental staff

A grant of almost $280,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will enable La Clinica to hire medical and dental staff to address a growing need for care, officials said.

The grant of $279,960 was announced last week as part of $295 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to 1,195 health centers across the nation. Community Health Center, a similar organization in Jackson County, received $217,382 for the same kind of expansion.

Such health centers are designated by the federal government to provide care for low-income residents and people in need, and this money is intended to help them expand primary care services to address an influx of patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

In a statement, La Clinica CEO Brenda Johnson said the network of neighborhood, school-based and mobile clinics sees several hundred new medical and dental patients each month and was seeking additional staff to handle this growth. "This money will allow us to cover some of those costs," she said in the prepared statement.