Underserved communities to benefit from $20 million in health center grants

News Release
Aug. 4, 2022

The Department of State Health Services is seeking grant applications for the DSHS Federally Qualified Health Center Incubator Program. Program grants will help eligible non-profit and public health care providers expand their services among underserved and uninsured Texans.

“Supporting people’s access to quality health care is part of DSHS’s mission to improve the health and well-being of Texans,” said DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD. “This funding will further that goal in communities across Texas.”

Last fall, the Texas Legislature appropriated $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the program. Current federally qualified health centers, FQHC look-alikes and non-profit or public entities that provide primary care services are eligible to apply. FQHCs and look-alikes may use the funds for a variety of health care improvements, including purchasing new equipment, adding staff to increase services, and capital improvements to serve more patients. Providers that are not FQHCs can use the funds to go through the application process to qualify as FQHCs.

“Federally Qualified Health Centers are a valuable support for people who need essential medical care but live in areas where resources are scarce and access can be challenging,” State Sen. Robert Nichols said. “Once they are up and running, they operate without local or state financial support. These grants are intended to bridge the gap between start-up cost and full certification to enable the program to expand in Texas. FQHCs serve a pivotal role in our health care system, and I was very happy funding for the incubator program was secured.”

Existing FQHCs and look-alikes can receive up to $500,000 through the program. Non-profit organizations and governmental entities that are not FQHCs but provide primary care services and are also working to become FQHCs or FQHC look-alikes can receive a maximum award of $1 million.

“I am proud to have secured funding for the FQHC Incubator Program,” State Rep. Tom Oliverson said. “These grants will help deserving non-profit health care organizations – like TOMAGWA (HealthCare Ministries) in my district – that are in the process of applying to become a Federally Qualified Health Center. I am excited about the opportunity these grants will create by promoting and supporting new non-profit and public entities through the FQHC development process.”

Open enrollment is available until Dec. 31, 2022 or until funding for the program is exhausted. All funded activities must be completed by Aug. 31, 2023 to receive the full contracted amounts.

Eligible entities are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and applicants must specify what activities they need funding for based on a list of available options.

Providers may submit grant applications at apps.hhs.texas.gov/PCS/HHS0012233, and can view a recorded webinar about the program and the application process at register.gotowebinar.com/recording/2428822709758707723. Slides from the presentation can be downloaded at dshs.texas.gov/uploadedFiles/Content/Prevention_and_Preparedness/fqhc-incubator/FQHC%20Incubator%20Webinar%202022.pdf.

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(News Media Contact: pressofficer@dshs.texas.gov)

Last updated August 4, 2022