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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Montana Community Health Centers To Receive $24 Million From American Rescue Plan

Community health centers in Montana will receive over $24 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to use for COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and treatment.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that 14 community health centers in Montana will use the funds to support and expand efforts to limit COVID-19’s impact.

Pat Zellar with Riverstone Health in Billings says the community health centers in the area are still figuring out how they will use the money.

"So we are currently reviewing potential usage for these funds and we have 60 days to develop and submit a budget for these new funds to support the health center,” Zellar says.

Funds will go to health centers in Billings, Butte, Cut Bank, Great Falls, Hamilton, Hardin, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Libby, Livingston, Missoula and Shelby. Allotments for each health center range from a little less than $200,000 to more than $3 million.

According to a press release, health centers can use the money for COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccinations, as well as expanding operational capacity during the pandemic and into the future.

Community health centers provide care for people in medically underserved communities, such as rural areas.

The Health Resources and Services Administration will start allocating funds in April.

Copyright 2021 Yellowstone Public Radio

Jess Sheldahl is a reporter for Yellowstone Public Radio and the host of Morning Edition as well as YPR's daily news podcast, The Worm.
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