Addison County is getting its first community health center facility, thanks to a grant in the Affordable Care Act.
The Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region has received $1.3 million to open a medical and dental facility in the town of Shoreham.
Executive Director Grant Whitmer says the town’s only physician lost his office two years ago and is nearing retirement, so the center will provide crucial access to care.
"That particular area is fairly isolated, and there really aren’t any primary care physicians or really any medical care facilities in that area," Whitmer said.
The Shoreham clinic will be the organization’s seventh medical facility. The Community Health Centers focus on providing health and dental care to all.
"We basically take anybody, we don’t turn anybody away, accept any insurance or cash payments and those patients who are of limited financial means we have a sliding fee scale for them," Whitmer said.
Whitmer adds that they hope to break ground within a few months and start accepting patients this fall.
And Island Pond will be benefiting from the grants as well. Northern Counties Health Care received $874,668 to expand a medical and dental office in Island Pond.
Senator Bernie Sanders pushed an $11 billion provision in the federal health care law to expand community health centers nationwide.
There are now eight federally qualified health care centers in Vermont, operating in 41 locations.