CHDI receiving $2.9M grant

Julye Keeble 
Staff Writer

Community Health Development Inc. in Uvalde was recently notified of a $2.9 million federal funding grant, which administrators said is to be used for continuing operations over the next nine months.

“CHDI is thankful for the health center program support provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration, especially as we continue to care for patients amidst the on-going COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayela Castañon, CEO of Community Health Development Inc.

Tony Gonzales

The announcement of the $2,925,786 for the Health Center Cluster Project from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department was made on Feb. 10 by Congressman Tony Gonzales, U.S. Rep. for District 23 which includes Uvalde.

“Investing in our medically underserved and rural populations is more important than ever,” Gonzales said. “Our community health centers significantly increase the quality of care for our communities, and I thank HHS for investing significant funds in Uvalde.” 

Since its inception in 1984, CHDI has served hundreds of thousands of patients in area communities.

“In 2021, we provided care to 11,047 individuals across all sites and disciplines, medical, dental, and behavioral health,” said Dolores Quiroz, chief development officer for CHDI.

The annual operating grant supports all sites, including Our Health/Nuestro Centro de Salud and The Center for Community Wellness, which offers dental services and a fitness center in Uvalde; Rolling Hills Health Center in Leakey and the Canyon Health Center in Camp Wood.

“The $2.9 million is for nine months of support for health center operations. The balance of the grant ($975,262) for the fiscal year 2022 budget period will be provided in a subsequent action based on the final FY 2022 Health Center program appropriation,” Quiroz said.

Community Health Development Inc. has adapted during the ongoing pandemic, providing telehealth visits as well as both influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations in Uvalde, Leakey and Camp Wood.

Castañon said they served about 5 percent more patients last year than in 2020.

Mayela Castañon

“Our agency ended 2021 with many successes, not just the number of patients served, which increased by 5.6 percent in 2021, but three-fourths of our quality measures improved from the previous year. We would not have been able to accomplish this without our excellent, dedicated staff. They are truly health care heroes.” Castañon said.

“We also acknowledge the generous support of our federal and local partners who support our mission of improving the health and well-being of our communities. We are confident that 2022 will be an even better year for CHDI!”