Health providers serving patients in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties together received more than $430,000 in federal grants to continue to improve quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health care in their communities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $125 million to health centers across the country, and 23 providers in New Jersey got a cut of about $2.07 million of that funding. CompleteCare Health Network and AtlantiCare were among the state’s biggest grantees.
The awards are funded by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.
“It’s great to see HRSA recognize CompleteCare and our approach to continuous quality improvement to improve the lives of all in the communities that we serve,” said Richie Elwell, executive vice president of business and operations. “Our quality improvement efforts are aimed at providing a better healthcare experience and improved outcomes for our patients.”
The money is intended to be used to continue to expand access to comprehensive care, improve care quality and outcomes, increase care delivery in cost-effective ways, address health disparities, advance the use of health information technology and deliver patient-centered care.
CompleteCare Health Network, which provides medical and dental health care services in Cape May, Cumberland and Gloucester counties, got one of the highest state award amounts at $174,666. Larger funding was given in the categories of clinical quality and patient-centered care.
AtlantiCare, which has hospitals and other outpatient services in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Burlington and Ocean counties, was awarded $111,155 for electronic health records, clinical quality, enhancing access to care, addressing health disparities and advancing health information technology.
“We take a team approach to partner with patients and their families in their care and wellbeing,” said Sandy Festa, executive director of AtlantiCare Health Services and the William L. Gormley AtlantiCare HealthPlex in Atlantic City. “This includes understanding unique needs, cultures, values and preferences.”
Festa said AtlantiCare recently expanded its federally qualified health center services to Galloway Township, and started offering pediatric care at the HealthPlex. It also focuses on vaccination rates and access to preventative screenings, resulting in an increase of patients coming in for cervical and colorectal cancer testing in the last year.
More than $86,000 was given to Ocean Health Initiatives, which has locations that include Little Egg Harbor Township and Manahawkin, and $60,000 was awarded to Southern Jersey Family Medical Center, with locations in Atlantic City, Hammonton and Pleasantville.
“(Community health centers) have a track record of delivering quality care at significantly lower cost, and are vital partners in our movement toward a health system that delivers quality, affordable, value-based health care for all Americans,” said Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan in a statement.