Caguas, and other towns to receive Head Start funds as part of $227 million federal injection

By John McPhaul

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón on Monday announced the approval of more than $227.1 million in federal funds allocated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) for child care services, health programs and to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.

HHS, through the Administration for Children and Families/Office of Head Start, allocated various funds under the Disaster Assistance program to Head Start centers within the category of social services, according to a press release issued by the resident commissioner’s office.

Among the funds allocated to several island municipalities, Caguas will receive $6.5 million, Orocovis will receive $4.5 million, Humacao will receive $541,695, Isabela will receive $245,300 and Manatí will receive $126,975.

The funds allocated for Head Start are final and only the date of their disbursement by the agency remains pending, which varies depending on the program.

The commonwealth Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration, meanwhile, will receive $714,912 from the Center for Flex Grants to address the COVID-19 emergency.

The Puerto Rico Department of Health, through the Office of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention/Research-CDC-NCEZID National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases will receive $183.8 million under the “CDC Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) for Prevention program to improve and increase the capacity of laboratory and epidemiological studies in order to increase health service,” according to the press release.

In addition, the CDC/CDC-NCIRD National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases allocated $26.9 million to the island Health Department for child vaccination and immunization.

HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), also allocated federal funds for 330 Centers. These centers are known as 330 Centers because they receive funds from the federal government through Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act when applying to the Health Center Cluster program as a community body that offers comprehensive primary health care services in areas where economic or geographic barriers limit access to affordable health care services.

As part of these funds, Corporación SANOS will receive $101,820, the Municipality of San Juan will receive $91,740, Lares Health Center Inc. will receive $133,440, Castañer General Hospital will receive $135,300, Camuy Health Services will receive $121,149, Palmieri Family Health Center will receive $117,360, NeoMed Center Inc. will receive $243,720, HPM Foundation will receive $180,960, the Center for Primary Health Services will receive $93,430 and Costa Salud Community Health Center will receive $116,040.

The HRSA also allocated $2.3 million to the Municipality of San Juan for health services under the HIV Emergency Relief programs.

The NSF, meanwhile, allocated $164,338 to the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus under the EPSCor Research Infrastructure program for the project “RII Track-4: Understanding Phase-Change Nanodevices for Cognitive-Inspired Computing Applications.”

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