In an announcement on March 31, Rep. Peter DeFazio said over $16.1 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan would be given to health centers in Southwestern Oregon, including $2.3 million to Benton County.
The American Rescue Plan provides community health centers with the resources to enhance their COVID-19 response. Health centers that receive funding can use it to expand vaccinations, to test and treat vulnerable populations, and to expand operational capacities during the pandemic and beyond.
The American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11, including Section 2601 which stipulated the funding for community health centers. In the bill, the funds were said to be allocated in six ways:
- To administer vaccines and “carry out vaccine-related activities”
- To test, contact-trace, mitigate and treat COVID-19
- To facilitate mobile testing and vaccination – particularly in medically underserved areas
- To hire and sustain a health care workforce
- To expand health care services and infrastructure
- To conduct COVID-related outreach and education
As part of this plan, Benton County will receive nearly 15% of the total funding allocated to Oregon’s 4th congressional district, with a package of $2,347,500 out of the total $16,115,000. In conjunction with the rest of the $7.6 billion awarded to health centers nationally, this will allow local centers to better help our community and bring the pandemic to a close.
The full funding will be distributed as follows:
- Benton County: $2,347,500
- White Bird Clinic, Eugene: $2,547,750
- Bandon Community Health Center, Bandon: $874,250
- ADAPT Oregon, Roseburg: $1,166,000
- Lane County: $5,372,000
- Waterfall Clinic Inc., North Bend: $1,150,000
Currently, COVID testing resources are available throughout our community, and vaccines are available to all people in all groups of Phase 1a and Phase 1b. For more information, visit Benton County’s COVID-19 information site.
By Ardea C. Eichner