HHS announces $727 million in grants for community health centers

The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday announced the recipients of $727 million in grants for community health centers.

The money, part of the healthcare reform law, will help provide care for an estimated 745,000 underserved patients at 143 centers across the country. The funds are the first in a series of awards expected under the new law, which provides $11 billion for the centers over five years.

"There is no question that the economic downturn has made it harder for some Americans to get health care and important preventive services," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "Community Health Centers provide quality healthcare services to Americans across the country but are a life line for those who have lost coverage or are between jobs. These funds from the Affordable Care Act will help get more people care in some communities where there have not been many options in the past."