COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – In the beginning of July it was announced the Valley Healthcare System will receive a $2.8 million grant from the American Rescue Plan Act. Money that Chief Executive Officer Sarah Lang said they are ecstatic to receive.
“Just to be able to say to the staff you’re, you’re appreciated not only by Valley Healthcare but congress and through the administration,” said Lang. “The Biden administration saying yes, community health centers are on the frontline, community health centers are important, community health centers like valley healthcare are important in their community and to their community. So it was exciting to know and learn we received this funding.”
Lang went on to explain the money will be used for more than just infrastructure improvements, including increasing staff salaries.
“You’ve heard nationally about the stress that responders and front line healthcare providers are under and have been under for this period of time,” said Lang. “It takes a toll. So we’re going to use this funding that will support the efforts, that will support them and make sure their wellbeing is taken care of.”
Valley Healthcare has identified three areas of need for the money. The funds will be used for maintaining and increasing capacity, recovery and stabilization, and infrastructure enhancements. Including things like hiring more staff to meet the needs of increased demand, particularly in the Mental Health Department.
In addition to this Lang said the funding will not only benefit the Columbus community, but region.
“We have services in Harris County, in Talbot county, we provide services to residents of Alabama,” said Lang. “This is a regional grant. This is not just for Columbus and the small community. We wanted to reach out to make sure that we touch many lives not just a few.”
Lang said Valley Healthcare has helped more than 11,000 individuals in the last year and they’re only hoping to grow and reach more lives with their services, something this money will help with.
Lang says it’s important to remember the grant is meant to help aid in recovery and stabilization which is exactly how the system intends to use it.