NORWALK, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – One billion dollars from the American Rescue Plan is going towards health centers across the country.
First News at Nine’s Alex Loroff tells us how a health care provider in Monroe County plans to use its allotment.
A health center in the Coulee Region is getting federal help to better serve patients.
Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers offer medical, dental, and mental health services to those who struggle to pay for primary care.
“We target our services to people who are lower income, although we’re open to everybody,” CEO Mari Freiberg said. “It happens that we have a sliding fee scale for people who live below 200% of the federal poverty level, which is generally people who make less than $24,000 dollars a year.”
Freiberg says Scenic Bluffs had to roll back some of its services at the start of the pandemic, but now patients are starting to return.
“People delayed routine, important preventive services, so people are starting to pick up on that,” Freiberg explained. “We hope to get through this bubble that was created because people delayed services for a while, but we’re glad that folks are coming in.”
To help provide greater services to an increasing number of patients, Scenic Bluffs is receiving more than $580,000 in funding through the American Rescue Plan.
Scenic Bluffs will be using the funds to upgrade its facility in Norwalk, which will expand the available services in the community.
“What we needed to do was to shift around that facility so that we were more effectively providing services and able to offer acupuncture care, massage therapy, and more mental health services in Norwalk,” Freiberg detailed.
Freiberg says patients feel a sense of relief when receiving care through Scenic Bluffs.
She hopes the funding will help fulfill the goal of providing clinical services without a financial barrier.
In Norwalk, Alex Loroff, First News at Nine.
Scenic bluffs remodeled and expanded its Cashton location in the fall of 2015.
The Norwalk Health Center hasn’t received any significant upgrades since opening in 1999.