U.S. Senator Roy Blunt says Missouri’s 29 community health centers are getting more than $27 million in federal grant funding to respond to the coronavirus. The sites previously received $2.1 million from the first coronavirus response bill, bringing the total to nearly $30 million with the latest round of funding.

The federal dollars come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Blunt, co-chair of the Senate Community Health Center Caucus, says the funding will help the centers meet staffing needs, and prevent, diagnose, and treat coronavirus patients. The Republican has strongly advocated for additional funding of community health centers.

“Community health centers are often the first place people go to get health care treatment quickly and close to home,” says Blunt in a press release. “Right now, clinics in Missouri are testing for coronavirus, providing telehealth services, and treating patients who are fighting this disease. One of my priorities in the most recent coronavirus response bill was extending funding for CHCs so they can continue providing care in local communities, especially our urban and rural underserved areas. I appreciate the tireless work our health care professionals are doing every day on the frontlines of this pandemic.”

The sites serve about 530,000 patients annually, 75% of whom are below the poverty level. They serve as a safety net through preventative and primary care to help keep patients from seeking more expensive emergency services.

Click here for a list of the grant recipients announced today.