Officials respond to grant money issues for health care center

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2005

REGION-Earlier in the week county officials displayed a great deal of displeasure in the handling of funds for a proposed Health Care Clinic that would have been built in South Marengo County. Some leaders felt they had been misinformed about funds they felt they should have received to help launch the project.

IT was the county’s understanding that the project had been approved, however, the office of Congressman Artur Davis said this was a misunderstanding.

Jeremy Shere, a representative of Davis said evidently there was some confusion when the county’s application was approved to go to the next step.

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“To the best of our knowledge there must have been a misunderstanding in the application process,” Shere said. “Their application was approved in the first round, but not in the second. I think that when it was approved in the first round there may have been a misunderstanding that the money for the project had been approved.”

Shere said the project was successful in making the first cut, but unsuccessful in making it beyond the second round of evaluation.

“Their application did make it through the first round,” Shere said. “However, in there were several rounds and several people going for the funds. They were not able to move to the third round because they had an insufficient score.”

The problem the project currently faces was a lack of application altogether. Shere said another application for the 2005 fiscal year was not received.

In a letter dated Oct. 14, 2004 the Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Primary Health Care stated that the Objective Review Committee had met during the week of Sept. 6 of 2004 to evaluate the second round of the application. The letter stated that the HRSA has reviewed the applications and the score of 85 was not high enough to qualify for that fiscal year.

Shere said they are willing to do whatever they can to help the project gain new life. However, he said they must receive a new application in order to lobby for support.

“If any of the city or county officials would like to reapply for funding we would be more than happy to help,” Shere said. “We want to see a successful effort for this grant, but in order to do that they need to reapply.”