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    Monday, October 14, 2019-8:33:41A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Kagman health center receives $650K grant to establish clinic on Tinian

THE Kagman Community Health Center will soon open a satellite clinic on Tinian after receiving a $650,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

In a phone interview, KCHC Chief Executive Officer Vince Castro said the HRSA announced the availability of $50 million funds to support 77 new health centers.

Vince Castro

“We submitted an application with a proposal to open a community health center on Tinian,” Castro said, adding that KCHC was among the 77 applicants awarded the grant through HRSA’s Health Center Program-New Access Points which aims to improve the health of the nation’s underserved communities and vulnerable populations by expanding access to affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care services.

“[The grant] will have a huge impact on the Tinian people, especially in terms of primary healthcare,” Castro said, adding that KCHC has four months to establish the clinic on the island.

The clinic will offer the same services provided by KCHC, including primary care, preventive care, women’s care and pediatric, he said.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation has a satellite clinic on Tinian, and Castro said the new clinic that will open there will allow CHCC to attend to more patients on Tinian. “It is about partnership and taking care of people’s health,” he added.

Nurse practitioner Arley Long will be the main provider for the Tinian clinic.

“She can consult with our doctors here or we can send a doctor over there,” Castro said. “That is the beauty of Tinian — we have a flight every hour and it doesn’t take long to get there.”

In addition, the Tinian clinic will have access to a telemedicine network which allows for online consultation with the specialists.

Castro said the $650,000 grant for the Tinian clinic is in addition to the $1.3 million that KCHC receives from the HRSA every year.

For her part, KCHC board chairwoman Velma Palacios thanked the team that worked on the grant application: New Access Points committee chairman Matthew Gregory, Esq., KCHC CEO Vince Castro, Arielle Buyum, Arley Long, Norma Borja, Frances Santos, Crystal Deleon Guerrero, Rose Lazaro and Mary Ann Mendiola.

Palacios also thanked Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan for his support. “KCHC is looking forward to working with the Tinian community to provide access to primary health services to the island. It has always been part of the KCHC board’s strategic plan to expand its reach throughout the CNMI to serve our community due to the limited access to healthcare services,” Palacios added.