Health centers funding expanded to US territories
The funding for the first year of the recent expansion of the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers to the US territories was announced on May 21, 2018. The expansion was included in the Public Law 115-123 that was passed in January 2018, when the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was reauthorized, then subsequently included in the Bipartisan Budget of 2017 in February 2018. The funding for the cover of two years is $12 million to cover the cost of two years; $774,000 is available now until July 19, 2018 for each insular area.
Family-to-Family Information Centers, or F2F HICs, provide information, support, resources and training around health issues concerning families of children and youth with special health care needs, directly from families who have or are going through the same experience as the families.
FSF HICs are available in every state, and now are available in the US territories. Most services are free for families, with grants such as this covering the costs. Some Centers are independent nonprofits, while others are part of a collaborative nonprofit organizations or state agencies.
They serve about one million family members on the mainland, and will serve even more with the inclusion of the Marianas, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands.
CNMI Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan spoke about the effectiveness of the F2F HICs in a recent press release. The peer-to-peer counseling has proven effective with the Centers, and that “no one knows more about how to navigate the complexities of getting care for those kids than the families who have already done it. That is the power of the family-to-family centers.”
Families can apply by July 19, 2018 on the grant.gov website. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations within the territories are eligible to apply, as well as American Indian and/or Alaska Native tribes.