A Medical Device Daily
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reported handing out more than $25.7 million in grants to increase and improve health and support services at the nation's health centers.
"These grants could not be coming at a better time," Secretary Sebelius said. "With more than 14.5 million Americans out of work, and 47 million without health insurance, the health centers are seeing more patients now than ever before."
Overseen by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at HHS, the Health Center system served more than 17 million medically underserved people in 2008, up from 10 million patients served in 2001. Since the economic downturn began, the health center patient population has grown by another one million people – a third of them children. By law, patients are accepted regardless of their ability to pay.
A total of 180 grants worth more than $21.9 million will give existing health centers the funds to add or increase mental health/substance abuse, enabling (i.e., outreach, transportation, case management services), oral health or pharmacy services. Additionally, 48 planning grants totaling more than $3.8 million will be distributed to organizations in hard hit areas that do not have health centers to help them develop new service delivery sites. New health center sites must meet federal requirements for governance, community involvement, quality of care and financial feasibility.
In other grants news:
• University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have received 80 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) grants totaling $19.4 million from the National Institutes of Health thus far. UCLA's largest NIH ARRA grant to date was $1.9 million, awarded to UCLA's Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI), which is dedicated to creating scientific approaches to mapping how the brain is structured and how it works.
LONI will use the funds to augment its computational imaging systems that enable advances in Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and brain development research. Administered by NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) as part of its High-End Instrumentation grant program, the grant will allow UCLA to purchase an instrumentation package comprising processing, visualization and networking equipment. This package will enhance local, national and international researchers' capacity to perform significant brain mapping and foster growth in the neuroscience field.
ARRA provides funds intended to stimulate the economy by creating or maintaining American jobs, while advancing research. The UCLA grants will help expand and improve the university's research capabilities in a large number of disease areas including cancer, HIV/AIDS and Parkinson's disease while at the same time jumpstarting the southern California economy.
• Integrated Medical Systems (Signal Hill, California) a medical technology systems integrator transforming critical care, reported that it has received $1.1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense for additional enhancements of the company's MedEx 1000 "suitcase" intensive care unit (ICU).
"While these funds were included in an earlier announcement, we have confirmed they have been formally added to the company's contract with the U.S. Army," said Todd Kneale, president/COO of Integrated Medical Systems. "In addition, these funds will make possible critical enhancements to the MedEx 1000 system before final delivery of the first units by year end. We welcome the Defense Department's sense of urgency and sign of commitment to transforming critical care on the battlefield."
The company's vice president for engineering, Frank Goodman, added, "This commitment by the Defense Department will translate into even greater safety and effectiveness for combat casualties as well as their caregivers."