Investments will help build major additions to health centers in Millinocket and Bangor; expand facility in Houlton

By Ramona du Houx

October 8, 2010
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Penobscot Community Health Center in Bangor will receive $2,117,731 and Katahdin Valley Health Center in Patten will receive $2,934,399 for construction, renovation and expansion. The projects are the first in a series of awards that will be made available to community health centers under the Affordable Care Act. Maine Congressman Mike Michaud strongly supported these two investments and advocated with the Obama Administration on their behalf.

“This is fantastic news for these communities,” said Michaud. “I worked to support these projects because they will further expand access to quality health care in our state as well as create much needed jobs.”

According to HHS, the Katahdin Valley Health Center will construct an 8,464 square foot addition to their Millinocket Health Center at 180 Aroostook Avenue in Millinocket. The expanded facility will contain dental space, medical exam rooms, provider offices, a meeting/training room and support areas. Renovations will also occur in the existing 70-year old 1,500 square foot building. These improvements will provide increased access to primary and dental care services.

Katahdin Valley Health Center will also renovate 1,670 square feet of its 4,103 square foot facility at 59 Bangor Street in Houlton, to create dental clinic space. The renovation will add four dental exam rooms, a high-tech dental laboratory, a waiting area, an administrative office, a reception area, two bathrooms and storage, as well as install a more efficient heating system to accommodate the extra space. The parking lot will also be expanded and the entire lot repaved. These improvements will result in an improved facility and expand access to dental care.

“The true beneficiaries of this grant will be the communities and the patients that we serve, especially during these times,” said Durward Humphrey, Chief Executive Officer of the Katahdin Valley Health Center.

The Penobscot Community Health Center will construct a new 8,000 square foot building between two existing facilities, a dental facility and an adjacent pediatric facility, on Union Street in Bangor. The new building will contain administrative space, pediatric case workers, a waiting area for pediatrics and dental, pediatric physical therapy, pediatric speech therapy and a pharmacy. This building will also provide a link between the two existing buildings, forming a single facility. The overall project will enhance patient outcomes through effective, efficient, and quality care.

Over the next five years, the Affordable Care Act provides funding for the operation, expansion and construction of community health centers across the country. This expansion of sites and services will help community health centers to serve nearly double the number of patients receiving care, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.