Carper, Castle Secure Funding to Provide Health Care Services to Uninsured and Underinsured Delawareans in Kent County

WASHINGTON, DC – As a direct result of efforts by Delaware Senator Thomas R. Carper and Congressman Michael N. Castle, the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Delmarva Rural Ministries a $323,880 grant for the Kent Community Health Center in Dover, Delaware, which serves the medically underserved. Carper and Castle both pushed for the funding in last year’s appropriation process and this year wrote support letters to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson. “Over the past three decades, Delmarva Rural Ministries has provided quality health care, housing, advocacy and other community services to low income individuals throughout the Delmarva Peninsula,” Castle said. “This funding will help The Kent Community Health Center continue to do what it does best-provide primary and preventative medical, mental and dental health care for low income families in Kent and Sussex County.” “By providing access to basic health services, health centers such as the Kent Community Health Center save the state of Delaware and the nation’s health care system billions of dollars annually. The Kent Community Health Center is a perfect fit for President Bush’s plan and will go a long way in meeting the needs of the medically underserved in our state,” Carper said. “This funding is critical to the long-term sustainability of the program.” The funding will improve access to health care for 3,000 low income persons who fall below 200% of the federal poverty line and enable the Kent Community Health Center to add to its staff of medical providers, hire a dentist and expand its facilities. A recent University of Delaware study shows that 31% of Kent County’s population has households at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. President Bush has pledged to increase funding for the nation’s community health centers and create 1200 new or expanded health center sites over the next five years. These health centers save state and federal government billions of dollars in hospital emergency room, specialty and inpatient care. The project director is Debra Singletary (302) 678-3652.