North Carolina has been awarded $4.7 million in federal grants for a variety of health care services under the Affordable Care Act.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced some of the grants Monday and the rest last week. The recipients are the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and community health organizations in Durham, Carrboro and other parts of the state.
The largest grant, nearly $3.6 million, was awarded to the state government as part of the federal Home Visiting Program, which was created by the Affordable Care Act. The money will pay for home visits by a nurse, social worker or early childhood educator to counsel women during pregnancy and work with parents with children up to age five.
The program is intended to prevent child abuse and neglect, and to promote child health and development, among low-income people.
Federal authorities awarded a total $106.7 million in home visiting grants nationwide.
Another $54.6 million was awarded to 221 health centers in 47 states and Puerto Rico to establish or expand behavioral health services. North Carolina is slated for $1.15 million for five community health organizations, including $250,000 for Piedmont Health Services in Carrboro and $250,000 for Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham.
Piedmont expects to hire at least one full-time mental health worker, such as a social worker or psychologist, to coordinate medical and behavioral services for patients who use Piedmont’s eight community health care centers in the state.
The mental health worker will provide screening, intervention, referral and treatment services for Piedmont’s patients, most of whom are low-income and uninsured or on Medicaid or Medicare.