Memorial Hospital receives government grant

Comanche County Memorial Hospital has received a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to assist people in the area who have no medical insurance.  President Bush's High Poverty County Initiative provides HRSA Grants to increase access to primary health care services to low-income counties, extending the health care safety net to Americans who may not have access to care.

The grant will be used to establish a new community health center in Lawton, which will provide access to comprehensive primary and preventative health care services.  The new center will deliver health care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay and will charge for health care services according to income.  Four in ten patients treated at health centers nationwide have no insurance coverage or inadequate coverage.

The Lawton Community Health Center (LCHC) will provide primary care, dental care, pharmacy services and limited behavioral health services to residents of all ages in Comanche County.  "We are elated to have been selected to receive this grant", said CCHA Board Chairman Ms. Pat Henry.

"Comanche County Memorial Hospital has carried a very large charitable load for many years.  While it is our mission to ensure access to care for all, it is nice to have a partner dedicated to caring for those who are under served, helping to ensure better access to healthcare for preventative and non-emergent care when it is most effective and less expensive.  These two organizations will work together closely to provide seamless, efficient and professional healthcare delivery system in our community," said Henry.

The grant will last for three years at $600,000 per year depending on the progress of the clinic, maybe even more.  Memorial Hospital has just 120 days to get the clinic up and running.  They assure 7News that the doors will open some time in late January, 2008.