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HealthNet lands $10.5 million in stimulus funds

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HealthNet Inc., a network of Indiana health care centers, will receive $10.5 million in federal stimulus money, the White House announced Wednesday.

The funds are part of a $600 million infusion through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund projects at 85 community health centers.

HealthNet said it will use the funds to expand and renovate two community health centers that have outgrown their space. The organization plans to build a new People’s Health & Dental Center at 2340 E. 10th St., and to renovate and expand Barrington Health Center, at 3401 E. Raymond St.

HealthNet said the two centers serve more than 14,300 patients each year, but will be able to care for an additional 7,200 patients after the expansions. The projects, it said, are expected to provide 78 construction-related and six health care jobs.


HealthNet operates five community-based health centers, one OB/GYN care center, a pediatric and adolescent care center, and eight school-based clinics. It provides health services to more than 47,000 uninsured and underinsured individuals annually.

President Obama said the stimulus funds would help the push to transfer medical records to electronic formats and add jobs to a struggling economy. Officials also linked it to the administration's broader push for an overhaul of the nation's health system.

The administration plans to give almost $509 million to repair, rebuild or replace federally designated community health centers. From coast to coast, the centers serve more than 17 million patients — about 40 percent of whom have no health insurance.

The president also said as much as $88 million more will go to health care facilities to "transfer old paper files to electronic medical records" and to upgrade technologies.

"These investments won't just increase efficiency and lower costs," Obama said Wednesday, flanked by members of Congress and addressing community health leaders. "They'll improve the quality of care as well, preventing countless medical errors and allowing providers to spend less time with paperwork and more time with patients."

Obama also signed a memo directing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to begin a three-year trial on how to improve care for Medicare patients at community health centers.

"But we don't just want our health centers to provided more care for more patients. We want them to provide better care as well," Obama said.

The administration anticipates as many as 500 health centers would participate.

"Because community health centers already provide comprehensive health care to people who face the greatest barriers to accessing care, these demonstration projects have the potential to support and improve the care delivered not only to Medicare beneficiaries, but also to others who rely on community health centers for primary care," Sebelius said in a statement.

Lawmakers included $2 billion to expand health services to low-income and uninsured Americans. Almost half has been spent already.

"One of the first investments we made through the Recovery Act was in supporting our nation's community health centers, and today we build on that progress by funding new construction and improvement projects at more than 80 facilities nationwide," Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. "This is what the Recovery Act is all about: providing immediate assistance for hard-hit families, improving our nation's infrastructure and creating new opportunities for stable, well-paid work."

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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