Healthcare Insider Blog

Berks County Health Center anniversary a sign of better times to come

  • Healthcare Alvernia

Almost exactly a year ago, a government-sponsored health facility opened its doors on the 800th block of Penn Street. And now RN to BSN, Behavioral Health and Healthcare Science graduates of Berks County have yet another option for employment.

A Federally Qualified Health Center, the Berks County Health Center provides primary and preventive health care for the low-income residents of Reading and Berks County.

Health Center’s like BCHC are qualified by the National Health Service Corps, which brings care to those who need it most. And while many of us still don’t understand exactly what the Affordable Care Act will do to healthcare, its investment in the NHSC is sure to benefit Eastern Pennsylvania’s nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The Affordable Care Act invests $1.5 billion over five years to grow the NHSC, which builds on a $300 million investment from the Recovery Act. The result has nearly tripled the size of the Corps between 2009 and 2011, including more than 1,900 nurses that are working every day to not only treat illness or injury, but also keep people healthy and prevent them from getting sick, according to government documents.

Other benefits of the Affordable Care Act:

— The number of National Health Service Corps primary care providers nearly tripled between 2009 and 2011 with its help, supporting more than 1,900 nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives.

— Since the beginning of 2009, community health centers (like BCHC) have added about 3,000 nursing positions, including 800 advance practice — a 20 percent increase.

— Its investment in Nurse Managed Clinics is projected to help train more than 900 nurses by 2013 and serve 94,000 patients.

— Its Prevention and Public Health Fund is supporting the training of 600 new nurse practitioners and nurse midwives by 2015.

Congratulations to the nurses, doctors and administration of the Berks County Health Center for one year of providing outstanding care to those who need it the most.

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