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Hope Clinic receives grant

Ellis County’s Hope Clinic has been seeking federal funding since its inception in 1999. Now, 10 years later, the facility has received a $1.3 million grant thanks to the recently passed economic stimulus package.
“We are now a Federally Qualified Health Center, and we are pumped about that,” said Kelly Echard, project coordinator for Hope Clinic.
Both Echard and Mackie Owens, who serves as executive director for Hope Clinic, spoke to Ennis Rotary Club members at their meeting Tuesday about how the clinic became an FQHC.
When the clinic started in 1999, its budget was $19,000 per year. Now, the budget is $1.5 million per year. The grant from the economic stimulus package will be paid over a two-year period. The money will provide for over 13 new positions at the clinic.
Before the federal grant was received, Echard did some legwork around the county as part of her research for the grant application. She surveyed people throughout the area to find out about local needs.
“I’ve been in and around the county to get the word out and rally support,” she said.
Echard said she found out that 24 percent of Ellis County residents – 33,000 people – are uninsured. Right now, Hope Clinic serves 4,000 of them. In order to serve more people, the clinic must expand and the money from the economic stimulus package will help make that happen, she said.
“We want to close the gap,” Echard said.
Owens pointed out that Hope Clinic is a faith-based organization and the staff and volunteers hope to reach out to people who are in the greatest need. Ellis County is one of the 200 poorest counties in the United States, and the federal funding is a good start to providing quality healthcare to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it, she said.

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Posted by on Mar 19 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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