Media Archive

Grant boosts Brownville health

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 42, October 20, 2004

By Sarah Bethiaume
Special to the Observer

BROWNVILLE Expanded health care services will be coming to Brownville before the year is out thanks to over $800,000 in federal monies.

The grant, received by the Katahdin Valley Health Center, will allow the Patten area center to expand its reach, opening clinics and offering services in the region.

Secretary Tommy G. Thompson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the center will receive an $816,667 grant to offer more services to the underinsured (those with high deductibles) and the uninsured in their area. The grant was part of a $49 million grant package administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

'These grants are all about bringing health care to the people who need it most in the areas where it's needed most," said Thompson in a press release.

Durward Humphrey, chief executive officer of the health center, said the grant would enable them to reach out to patients in Brownville, Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, Woodville, and surrounding unorganized territories.

"Patients in these communities who do not have health insurance or who are under-insured have had to travel to either Lincoln or Patten to receive federally-qualified health services at community health centers," said Humphrey. "Now, we'll be able to providing sliding fees and the full range of services."

Among the services scheduled to be offered at the regional sites are primary care, mental health, substance abuse, dental services and low-cost prescription drugs.

In an interview last week, Humphrey could offer few specifics on how they plan to make the services available, but did say their hoping to begin operation of the various sites by Dec. 1.

"We're just in general terms at this point and time," he said.

Humphrey said they weren't surprised to receive me large grant, adding that they were confident because of the need they'd demonstrated in their application and strong support from various entities.

"Between all this support ⤔ patient support, public support and the business support we knew this application was strong and that it would get funded," he said. "It was a lot of hard work by a lot of people. In a way, it's like another large step for mankind in that area. There truly is a need. There's a need for this type of health care throughout the state."

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.