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Louisville Community Health Centers Receive $500,000 in New Federal Investments

LOUISVILLE – On Wednesday, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) announced new federal investments in two Louisville community health centers under the Affordable Care Act. The grants, which total $500,000 annually, will be used to expand behavioral health care services – including mental health and substance abuse treatment – at Family Health Centers and the Park DuValle Community Health Center.

The grant awards will bring $1 million in federal investments to Louisville over the next two years to provide direct behavioral health care services for Louisvillians traditionally underserved by the health care sector.

“Quality, accessible mental health services are essential to making our health care system work better – particularly for those who couldn’t access doctors or care before the Affordable Care Act,” Yarmuth said. “These grants will help Family Health Centers and Park DuValle provide critical mental health and substance abuse services to thousands of Louisvillians in need of care.”

Nearly 70 percent of patients in community health centers have a primary mental health or substance abuse diagnosis, and more than two-thirds of health care visits there are driven by psychosocial factors.

Family Health Centers’ behavioral health service providers work closely with primary care doctors to offer more holistic treatment, which reduces return trips for patients and lowers costs. The $250,000 annual Behavioral Health Integration grant will help expand those services.

“We are very grateful to receive this new federal grant made possible under the Affordable Care Act,” said Bill Wagner, Executive Director of Family Health Centers. “These funds will allow us to expand our integrated model of care to thousands more patients. Behavioral health care is an essential service for our patients. We can’t care for someone’s physical illness and expect them to remain healthy if they are suffering from depression and anxiety, or have a substance abuse problem.”

Family Health Centers plans to hire additional behavioral health care staff for three locations: Americana, Portland, and Phoenix Health Care for the Homeless. In addition, FHC will provide transportation assistance for low-income patients and interpreters for non-English speakers. Wagner estimates the grant will help provide behavioral health services to more than 10,300 Louisvillians over the next two years.

Officials at Park DuValle Community Health Center plan to use the $250,000 annual grant to incorporate mental health services into the center’s primary care offerings.

“Mental health service gaps exist for underserved populations in Louisville, as only a few mental health providers accept uninsured, low-income, and Medicaid behavioral health patients,” said Dr. Anthony Omojasola, CEO of Park DuValle Community Health Center. “This grant will lessen financial barriers to access mental health services in West Louisville. Additionally, it will give Park DuValle Community Health Center the opportunity to integrate behavioral health and primary care services.”