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LFHC RECEIVES $200,000 FROM THE N.Y.S. HEALTH FOUNDATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LUTHERAN FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS RECEIVES $200,000 FROM THE NEW YORK STATE HEALTH FOUNDATION
Project helps Lutheran acquire city dental clinics previously set to close

November 24, 2009, Brooklyn, New York…The New York State Health Foundation has awarded Lutheran Family Health Centers (LFHC) a $200,000 grant to help the federally qualified health center (FQHC) offset acquisition and start-up costs related to their take over of 15 school-based dental clinics (among 46 in the city previously set to close).

Due to the economic crisis, New York City announced plans to eliminate its Oral Health Program (OHP) in public schools. Part of that plan called for the closure of all the OHP dental clinics. As a leading provider of school health and oral care, Lutheran Family Health Centers has agreed to absorb 15 of those school-based clinics that serve city's most vulnerable children.

"Since 1903 these clinics have been a vital part of New York's health care safety net, serving several thousand children," says Larry K. McReynolds, executive director of Lutheran Family Health Centers. "This funding will enable us to not only preserve this invaluable city resource but also, through our comprehensive FQHC system, allow us to increase insurance enrollments rates, improve overall oral health outcomes and serve more children, all at a cost savings to New York."

The Dental Clinic Preservation and Expansion Project and its extension of LFHC's federally qualified health center status to these clinics will support long-term sustainability by providing access to higher reimbursement rates, increased operational capacity and ultimately treat more children. The funding will be used to make an essential investment in equipment, infrastructure, and health information technology, which will yield improvements in the accessibility, quality, scope, and coordination of care, and create operational efficiencies of the clinics.

Since 1984, the LFHC network has operated its School Health Program, which provides comprehensive medical, mental health and dental services in several schools with a team of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pediatricians and other health providers. With the School Health Program, these services are available to students during normal school hours reducing the likelihood that a child misses school, or a parent misses work for routine health care.

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