Congress' stopgap spending bill doesn't have funding for East Te - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Congress' stopgap spending bill doesn't have funding for East Texas health clinics

Patients enter the East Texas Community Health Center in Nacogdoches. More than 9,000 patients from the Deep East Texas area seek affordable health care at the facility. (Source: KTRE Staff) Patients enter the East Texas Community Health Center in Nacogdoches. More than 9,000 patients from the Deep East Texas area seek affordable health care at the facility. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The newest location, in Lufkin, was paid for by federal funding. There’s uncertainty the same funding package will be available for this year. (Source: KTRE Staff) The newest location, in Lufkin, was paid for by federal funding. There’s uncertainty the same funding package will be available for this year. (Source: KTRE Staff)
A doctor at East Texas Community Health Center in Lufkin serves the un-insured and low insured patients. There are doctors with private clinics who refuse to see the Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP patients. (Source: KTRE Staff) A doctor at East Texas Community Health Center in Lufkin serves the un-insured and low insured patients. There are doctors with private clinics who refuse to see the Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP patients. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

The government reopened Monday, but long-term federal funding for community health centers was left out of the latest stopgap spending bill.

Health centers whose federal grants started January 1 may be forced to consider layoffs and even closures. This uncertainty in federal funding concerns the East Texas Community Health Center’s management and 9,000 patients like one woman who saw the doctor Tuesday thanks to federal funding that financed the East Texas Community Health center's newest location in Lufkin. 

“This clinic would not be a part of North Lufkin if it was not for the federal funding,” said Vickie Yarbrough, a nurse at the clinic.

It's the same kind of funding director Robin Moore is unsure she can rely on this year. 

"How can we plan effectively without knowing that that funding is going to be there?” Moore said.

In Nacogdoches, Kathy Harris, a patient counselor, is an advocate for the 9,000 East Texans who use the clinic.

As a clinic patient herself, Harris understands the anxiety. Her extended family members are patients there as well.

"The services that we use in the clinic might not be available because of funding,” Harris said.

Alleya Grigsby is a patient, too, but as lead care coordinator, she recognizes uncertain funding is a public health issue.

"We service everyone in East Texas,’ Grigsby said “We have people coming all the way from Beaumont. All the way from North Texas, just coming to use our program because we're rare in this area." 

the East Texas Health Center's grant year doesn't start until June 1st. There's some time yet, but planning takes place now, not later. 

Immigration issues and just keeping the government running are the priorities for Congress. That means health care centers will just have to prepare for the next funding battle.

“No offense to any other program, but all kinds of other noise going on that's getting more play,” Moore said. “That puts our voices down very low on the totem pole."

Community health care centers are supported by both Democrats and Republicans, but continue falling short of restoring the health center's $3.6 billion annual appropriations. 

Copyright 2018 KTRE. All rights reserved.
 

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Chinese Taipei squeaks by Lufkin 2-0 in JLWS

    Chinese Taipei squeaks by Lufkin 2-0 in JLWS

    Sunday, August 19 2018 2:18 PM EDT2018-08-19 18:18:34 GMT
    JLWSJLWS

    The All-Stars from the Pineywoods battled Chinese Taipei less than 24 hours after beating California in the U.S. Championship game. Chinese Taipei entered the game after run-ruling Mexico in the International Championship. In the first inning of the heavyweight showdown both teams got a runner on base but both teams left the runner stranded. Lufkin's Christian Mum...

    More >>

    The All-Stars from the Pineywoods battled Chinese Taipei less than 24 hours after beating California in the U.S. Championship game. Chinese Taipei entered the game after run-ruling Mexico in the International Championship. In the first inning of the heavyweight showdown both teams got a runner on base but both teams left the runner stranded. Lufkin's Christian Mum...

    More >>
  • Lufkin Wins! All-Stars beat California 5-2 to advance to World Championship at JLWS

    Lufkin Wins! All-Stars beat California 5-2 to advance to World Championship at JLWS

    Saturday, August 18 2018 8:49 PM EDT2018-08-19 00:49:38 GMT

    Lufkin was hoping to bring home a second straight U.S. Championship with Little League baseball, this time at the Junior League World Series. The U.S. Championship was a rematch of a game a few days earlier against California. The first game saw Lufkin win 2-0 on a complete game shutout by Mark Requena. Lufkin would end up being the away team in the title game. It didn't take long for the scoring to start for Lufkin with clean up hitter Sam Flores got the scoring started early for L...

    More >>

    Lufkin was hoping to bring home a second straight U.S. Championship with Little League baseball, this time at the Junior League World Series. The U.S. Championship was a rematch of a game a few days earlier against California. The first game saw Lufkin win 2-0 on a complete game shutout by Mark Requena. Lufkin would end up being the away team in the title game. It didn't take long for the scoring to start for Lufkin with clean up hitter Sam Flores got the scoring started early for L...

    More >>
  • Lufkin cub scout pack renovates scout house

    Lufkin cub scout pack renovates scout house

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:02 PM EDT2018-08-18 22:02:47 GMT

    Over the years the scout house belonging to pack 134 has needed an upgrade, but funds stopped them from making this improvement.  

    More >>

    Over the years the scout house belonging to pack 134 has needed an upgrade, but funds stopped them from making this improvement.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly