Special to The Explorer
An $8.9 million grant has been awarded to MHC Healthcare by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help build the three-story main clinic of the Marana Health Center now under construction in Marana.
The grant is one of two in Arizona — and the lone award in Southern Arizona — made under the Affordable Care Act, a release said.
In April, the project received a $9.9 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to construct the facility. The loan and grant add to $18.8 million of the estimated $22 million project.
"These grant funds will make a great financial impact and will enable us to complete the new Marana Health Center as planned," said Clarence Vatne, Marana Health Center chief executive officer. "This economy has been challenging for our community and we are grateful to receive this support. The new health center project is creating many new jobs, now during the construction phase, and will provide an increased number of permanent positions in the future when the new building is complete and begins serving patients in Marana."
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords welcomed the news.
"The Marana Health Center has done a stellar job of delivering medical care to an underserved area of Marana and Northwest Pima County for more than a half-century," said Giffords. "This is a wise use of federal funding and I was proud to help secure it for this exceptionally worthy institution."
After the center was denied a grant in an initial round of funding, Giffords wrote to Health and Human Services officials, urging they reconsider when future funding became available, she said in a release.
Affordable Care Act grants focus on community health centers which provide medical care to about 40 percent of Americans who have no health insurance, and deliver preventive and primary care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. MHC accepts all major insurance plans and treats patients with and without health insurance, offering services on a sliding fee scale according to income.
Marana Health Center's new building is located at 13395 N. Marana Main Street. The 74,000-square-foot facility will be certified for energy efficiency and environmental effect.
Construction is on schedule, with a projected completion date in April, Marana Healthcare spokeswoman Pam Moseley said. A grand opening event would take place in May.
MHC Healthcare continues to raise funds for the project through its capital campaign. Anyone interested in making a donation or learning about building sponsorship opportunities should contact Miley Clark at 682-4560, extension 2617; email@example.com; or Box 188, Marana, 85653.