Northeastern Oklahoma Community Health Centers Inc. has announced an infusion of emergency grant funding from the medical aid organization Direct Relief, in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.

NeoHealth was among 518 federally qualified health centers to receive funding this week through Direct Relief's $25 million COVID-19 Fund for Community Health, which recognizes the profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the finances, services, staff, and patients of community health centers.

NeoHealth will use the funds to help acquire personal protective equipment; help patients that need assistance with their health care; and battle COVID-19-related illnesses.

"Access to primary care is what keeps people healthy and out of the hospital, and the frontline work of NeoHealth and other nonprofit community health centers across the U.S. is more critical than ever with the onset of COVID-19," said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe. "Direct Relief is doing everything possible to bolster the work and support the staffs at the safety-net health facilities on which so many patients and their families rely for excellent care and trust for advice in this public health emergency."

Nearly 30 million - one in 12 - of the country's most vulnerable residents - including one in three individuals living in poverty, one in five Medicaid beneficiaries, and one in nine children - rely on federally qualified health centers like NeoHealth for their health care. That number is expected to rise as more people lose employer-sponsored insurance.

"We are grateful for this critical and immediate support as Community Health Centers work hard to keep communities safe during an unprecedented pandemic," said Tom Van Coverden, president and CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers. "We are also deeply appreciative of our longstanding partnership with Direct Relief in these uncertain times and their efforts to ensure that health centers confronting multiple challenges in underserved communities have the resources when and where they need them. We know that many donors and contributors have helped to make this fund possible, and we further extend our appreciation to all of them."

NeoHealth provides health care to everyone. Medicare and Medicaid are accepted, as well as third-party insurance and private pay. Patients may qualify for a discount, and new patients are welcome. NeoHealth offers family medicine; obstetrical and gynecological; pediatrics; ear, nose and throat; allergy; and pharmacy services. For more information about services and locations, visit www.neohealth.org.

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