The Dept. of Health and Human Services has awarded $508.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to build or renovate 85 community health clinics around the country.

Competition was stiff for the Facility Investment Program grants, whose winners were announced on Dec. 9. HHS received about 600 applications for the funds, says David Bowman, a spokesman for HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees the community health center program.

Bowman says that the latest batch of ARRA awards involves larger awards than those contained in a round of HHS stimulus capital funding announced in June. That earlier round of Capital Improvement Program funds totaled $851.5 million, including $539.8 million for construction, alteration and renovation. But the money was spread among scores of awardees and Bowman says the funds went for small renovations and construction projects.

The latest group of awards will fund more substantial projects, he adds. The maximum individual award amount was $12 million.

Contracts for the health-center construction and renovation work would be awarded by the grant recipient, not HHS.

Massachusetts received the largest total, $80 million, for eight grants. California was awarded $65.6 million for 11 grants. Texas won five awards for a total of $37.3 million and Pennsylvania got six grants, totaling $28.6 million.

Other big winners included Ohio with $24.9 million, Illinois, with $21.8 million, and New Jersey, with $20.1 million. Each of those three states had four projects selected.

The 10 largest individual grants in the Dec. 9 round
Center Location Award ($ millions)
Contra Costa County Health Services Dept. Martinez, Calif.
Unity Health Care Inc. Washington, D.C.
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center East Boston, Mass.
Healthfirst Family Care Center Inc. Fall River, Mass.
Whittier Street Health Committee Inc. Roxbury, Mass.
Urban Health Plan Inc. Bronx, N.Y.
Oklahoma Community Health Services Inc. Oklahoma City
Mattapan Community Health Center Mattapan, Mass.
Keystone Rural Health Center Chambersburg, Pa.
Vista Community Clinic Vista, Calif.
Source: White House