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Bee Busy Wellness Center Awarded $775, 000 in Federal Funds to Increase Access to Care for Houston’s Underinsured and Uninsured

Under the Affordable Care Act-New Access Point Grant, Bee Busy Wellness Center will more than double the number of patients treated, as well as add dental and mental health services to their comprehensive medical offerings

Bee Busy Wellness Center (BBWC) has been awarded the New Access Point (NAP) funding from US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Through this grant award, BBWC also receives full status as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), offering greater community support through the addition of dental care, mental health services and expanded medical care without regard of ability to pay.  Federal recognition as a new health care delivery site serving under-served and uninsured patients creates a much-needed infusion of financial support in reaching the more than 1 million uninsured residents of Harris and surrounding counties.

Throughout its four-year existence, BBWC has maintained streamlined operations with a small staff largely supported by its CEO and volunteers.

“The need in the Houston area far exceeds our grasp,” said BBWC CEO Norman Mitchell. “Although keeping the doors open has been a struggle, we stayed vigilant and were determined to keep helping the residents of Southwest Houston. This grant offers us the amazing opportunity to reach more of those who are in desperate need but lack resources; be it insurance, transportation or a place that preserves their dignity, Bee Busy Wellness connects with the community,” he said.

Bee Busy Wellness Center will expand its practice and hire more physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists and other providers in an effort to increase Americans’ access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.  BBWC recently added a satellite location in Missouri City to complement the original Southwest Houston location.

According to the Harris County Healthcare Alliance, community health centers are integral in delivering healthcare services in communities with historically high numbers of uninsured clients. While insurance for most Texans will become accessible under the Affordable Care Act, the state of Texas’ decision to reject the extension of Medicaid creates a gap for almost one million Texans who fall below federal poverty level. These Texans will not be eligible for insurance or subsidies in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For other uninsured residents who meet requirements to receive subsidies, information about health insurance options is often made available at community health centers.

“Increasing access to care will make a tremendous difference to individuals, families, and communities throughout the Houston area,” said Tieasha James-Waddy, COO of Bee Busy Wellness Center.   “We are pleased that we can be a resource for people without any other financial means to receive medical treatment and we are accepting appointments immediately. We provide checkups when you’re well, treatment when you’re sick, immunizations and checkups for your children, dental care and prescription drugs, family planning, STD screening and treatment, and mental health care and substance abuse treatment. Bee Busy Wellness Center is on the front line of helping uninsured residents ”

Mary Wakefield, a registered nurse and administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency within HHS, said the grants were written into the healthcare reform law. She said the ACA set aside $11 billion to be awarded over five years, beginning in 2011, to support the expansion of community health centers. Total grants to be awarded for 2014, including the ones recently announced, will total $2.2 billion.

“All of us in the Obama administration are working hard to make sure that Americans who aren’t in the healthcare system finally get in,’’ Wakefield said.

Bee Busy Wellness Center:

Bee Busy Wellness Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center established to increase access to quality, comprehensive primary, behavioral, dental and preventive health care and to provide education and resources to improve the health care of undeserved and vulnerable populations of Southwest Houston, Texas and surrounding counties, without regard to one’s ability to pay.

BBWC has two convenient locations to serve you:

9898 Bissonnet, Suite 258, Houston, TX 77036, 713-771-2292 and Missouri City Location

1761 Texas Pkwy, Missouri City, TX 77489

Future location to be announced.

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