Genesee County health center receives $1 million grant - WNEM TV 5

Genesee County health center receives $1 million grant

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A Mid-Michigan health center received a boost in funding on Thursday as a federal health official paid a visit to the Vehicle City.

A high ranking official with the Department of Health and Human Services was in Flint to discuss the water crisis.

The president appointed aide brought $1 million for a local community health center. That money will allow residents who have been affected by the crisis to get medical and psychological help.

"The meaning of this for us is tremendous," said Honor Potvin, interim director of the Genesee Community Health Center.

For many in Flint, getting medical and psychological help through the crisis is important. That's where the health center steps in. It gives care to anyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

The work they do is able to go a lot further thanks to $1 million from the federal government.

"I was able to see first of all how cramped their space is and how badly they need the extra space and capacity to take care of additional clients, said Dr. Nicole Lurie, with DHHS.

Lurie is the president's appointed aide to help Flint recover from the crisis. On Thursday she toured the center, which will use the money to expand its reach.

"It is to the benefit of Flint community and those who are residents of Genesee County that we stand fast, work together, to make sure our community is a better place for all," said Yvonne Lewis, chair of Genesee Community Health Center.

The grant comes at a convenient time, as state lawmakers have expanded Medicaid to people in Flint. The expansion would help roughly 15,000 people get lead testing and other medical services they need.

Lurie said the development and city-wide flush of pipes are the next steps to helping the crisis.

"Up until now on the water side, it's been government doing the work. Now it's time for citizens to do the work and it's very exciting," Lurie said.

Regardless of what steps are taken to fix Flint's water, those at the community center said at least the grant money will be able to help the people already affected by the crisis.

"We all know what a concern and fear and anxiety the water crisis has caused. And to have places for people to go for help is so important now," Lurie said.

The grant must be completed in three years, but the health center said they hope to have it done much sooner than that.

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