Today’s news:

Elmhurst Hosp. Cntr. receives $10K

Two Queens public hospitals received more than $90,000 in federal funding from the Affordable Care Act in July to upgrade school-based health clinics.

Jamaica’s Queens Hospital Center got $81,074 to refurbish two centers and Elmhurst Hospital Center received $10,000 for Long Island City High School’s center.

“I think this is one of the most critical portions of the act,” said U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), whose district includes Elmhurst Hospital Center, at 79-01 Broadway.

The funding was part of $940,000 that the city Health and Hospitals Corp. received under the act, passed by Congress in 2010, for improving six school-based clinics in the city that are run through public hospitals. It is the first of a $200 million series of grants awarded to clinics under the act. The lion’s share of HHC’s $94,000 went to Brooklyn’s Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center and Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center.

“From adding entirely new exam rooms to updating equipment and even installing air conditioning, these renovations will not only upgrade the existing facilities, but will also help ensure that these students are getting the care that they deserve,” HHC President Alan Aviles said in a statement.

Queens Hospital got $81,074 for new furniture, equipment and an exam room at PS 86, at 87-41 Parsons Blvd. in Jamaica, as well as new equipment for the clinic at the Springfield Gardens Educational Center, at 143-10 Springfield Blvd. in Springfield Gardens. Together, the clinics provide care to 2,550 students and offer services ranging from comprehensive and reproductive care to focused care for management of obesity, asthma and other chronic health issues.

“Any enhancement and the improvements in providing access to children who otherwise have major barriers to receiving primary health care is a good thing,” said Kevin Forrestal of Southeast Queens United in Support of Health Services, a grassroots health advocacy group.

The center at Long Island City HS, at 14-30 Broadway, received $10,000 for new equipment through the grant to Elmhurst Hospital. The clinic provides care to 3,400 students, a fourth of whom receive comprehensive care.

Crowley said the partnership between Elmhurst and the high school is critical for both entities and will improve the ability of students to learn.

“These centers have been shown to increase academic performance and at the same time reduce absenteeism,” Crowley said.

The congressman added that this was an exciting part of the various components of the Affordable Care Act being put in place.

“The more this continues to roll out and goes into effect, people see the direct benefits to themselves and their children,” Crowley said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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