Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nashville clinics to receive millions from stimulus

WKRN Posted: March 31, 2009 04:45 PM CDT NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Little by little, people and places in Nashville are learning about big money they will receive from the president's stimulus package. One of the places is the United Neighborhood Health Service and one of the people is its CEO Mary Bufwack. "I learned that United Neighborhood was going to get this money last week by reading it on the Internet," she said Tuesday, after emerging from a three-hour meeting on how to spend stimulus funds of $1.4 million over the next 120 days. Bufwack said that figure is the total from two different portions of the stimulus, with a third undetermined amount still to come. She said it will help add three more health care clinics to the 13 now spread throughout Nashville's urban landscape. The money is meant to be spent quickly and create more than 30 jobs for the United Neighborhood clinics. "I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," said Bufwack half-jokingly about the moment when she learned about the stimulus money. Felisha Taylor thinks the stimulus can do a lot for her. "Health care coverage has changed so much, you know you get to get certain things done, then you don't, and when you get federal money it opens up things you probably would never have seen without it," said Taylor, as she waited for her daughter's asthma treatment at United's Cayce Family Health Center in east Nashville. Along with building three new clinics, one in south Nashville and two more in the Brick Church Pike area, CEO Bufwack said United Neighborhood will see things like increased lab space, more equipment, and more doctors, including mental health professionals and dentists. United Neighborhood clinics served an increase of 5,000 patients last year. Nashville's Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center will also see some of the stimulus money. CEO Jeff McKissack said his group will receive more than $700,000 over a two year period.

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