Federal Funding to Restore Sapphire Health Center
Hamilton's Sapphire Community Health Center will receive over $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The award was announced this week, as part of over a $100 million distribution to 164 health center sites in 33 states.
The Ravalli County award was the only one in Montana and amounts to $704,167 to a "sliding scale" health center that opened briefly in 2010 in a building that was purchased and is still owned by the District Eleven Human Resources Council.
The building was formerly the Ravalli County Federal Credit Union on North 3rd Street in Hamilton. The credit union moved to a larger building on North 1st.
The 3rd Street location has been vacant since the Sapphire Health Center closed due to cutbacks in federal funding shortly after it opened in 2010.
The new funding comes from the Affordable Care Act and also assists centers that have been helping people sign up for the program's health insurance.
HHS secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, in announcing the funding, said, "Today's awards will enable more individuals and families in Montana to have access for the affordable, quality health care that health centers provide."