The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $21 million to support health centers’ COVID-19 response efforts. The majority of this investment—$17 million—supports 78 Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) with funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing.

Due to the urgent need across the country to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing is being made available to LALs through the Health Center Program. These LALs operate and provide services consistent with HRSA Health Center Program requirements; however, unlike HRSA-funded health centers, LAL operations are funded through mechanisms outside of the HRSA Health Center Program.

Currently, almost 88 percent of LALs report conducting COVID-19 testing in their communities, and 56 percent offer walk-up or drive-up testing. With this funding, LALs will expand the range of testing and testing-related activities to best address the needs of their communities, which will cover PPE purchases, workforce training, and laboratory diagnostic activities.

HRSA also awarded over $4.5 million to support the COVID-19 response of Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs). HCCNs support health centers to improve quality of care and patient safety by using health information technology to reduce costs and improve care coordination.

For funding details and to read the entire press release, please visit the HHS website here.