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Grant funding boosts local health providers

Tim Croft
tcroft@starfl.com
The Star

PanCare and the Wewahitchka Medical Center received new tools in the fight against coronavirus last week.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration announced more than $63 million in federal grant funds for 47 Florida health centers.

The money flowed through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Supplemental Funding.

The dollars included a grant of $1.012 million to North Florida Medical Centers, Inc. of Tallahassee, which operates the Wewahitchka Medical Center.

Additionally, PanCare of Panama City, which operates a clinic from the Florida Department of Health in Gulf County facility in Port St. Joe, received grant funding of $1.350 million.

“These federal funds will provide critical resources to Florida’s health centers and medical professionals who are risking their own lives every day,” said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida).

“I am committed to helping ensure that Florida’s health centers are equipped with the necessary equipment and supplies needed to care for patients as our state continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.”

The announcement came as PanCare of Florida began last Friday offering alternate COVID-19 mobile testing at a site established at the former The Bank building at 528 Cecil G. Costin Sr. Blvd. (State 71).

The COVID response team is available Monday through Friday at 215-4181 for phone screenings.

To qualify for testing, an individual must complete all four of the following steps, or they will be turned away at the testing site.

1: Exhibit symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath).

2: Call the PanCare COVID-19 response line at 215-4181.

3: Conduct a phone screening.

4: Upon qualifying for testing, each individual will be assigned a unique ID number and given an appointment date and time. Upon arrival at the testing site, individuals must present the provided ID number with a photo ID.