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HomeNewsArchivesSt. Croix, St. Thomas Clinics Get Stimulus Money

St. Croix, St. Thomas Clinics Get Stimulus Money

The Ingebord Nesbit Clinic in Frederiksted. July 1, 2009 — The White House announced Monday Frederiksted’s Ingeborg Nesbitt Clinic and the St. Thomas East End Medical Corporation both received funding from this year’s economic stimulus package.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected 1,500 health centers nationwide to receive funding.
The Frederiksted clinic will receive $387,000 and the St. Thomas East End Medical Corporation will receive $323,000.
The Frederiksted clinic received earlier stimulus funding to address the high incidence of diabetes in the islands, according to Christensen’s office.
Frederiksted Health Care, Inc. the non-profit corporation which runs the clinic, applied for the grant earlier this year, according to a statement from the clinic Monday.
"We received the good news today and both the board and my staff are elated," said Masserae Sprauve-Webster, chief executive officer of the clinic. This subset of the stimulus had funds for information technology and for capital renovations, and the clinic applied for and received money for renovations, Sprauve-Webster said Wednesday.
The clinic’s Frederiksted facility has been closed for mold remediation since April 2008, when operations moved to a wing of the Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged in Kingshill. The Grigg Home is about a 15-minute drive from the Frederiksted center.
Mold cleanup, along with some minor renovations and a major air-conditioning overhaul, was meant to last four to five months. But delays in getting funding have delayed the work.
"Right now we are still in the (bidding) process and haven’t selected anyone as of yet," she said. "In the meantime what we’ve started this (Wednesday) afternoon, is, utilizing the health van to offer some basic services." The van, which is a portable medical office the size of a Winnebago, will be parked on Strand Street in the lot directly across from the clinic, Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
George Flores, a Frederiksted resident who has been outspoken in pushing for more urgency on reopening the clinic, said the money was good news, but wouldn’t solve the clinic’s troubles.
"It’s going to take about a million dollars to rebuild the clinic," Flores said Tuesday, quoting the estimate given by Public Works in April for all the work that needs to be done.
"This thing was supposed to be finished last December. Now we’re shooting for this year, and if we don’t get started soon, we won’t finish this year either. Six months are gone already and we are coming into the worst part of the year, with hurricane season … But I’m glad they got some money. I know the governor is working on it and hopefully we will find the money to finish the job."
The clinic was part of the Department of Health until the Senate passed Act 6645 in 2004, which transferred ownership of the clinic to Frederiksted Health Care Inc., a private, non-profit corporation. Frederiksted Health Care took over operations in 2006.
In 2007 the clinic saw almost 10,000 patients, of whom 58 percent were uninsured, according to statistics given by the clinic during budget hearings last summer. Another 31 percent were covered through the local Medical Assistance Program, highlighting the importance of the clinic to many Frederiksted-area residents who would otherwise have limited access to care.
<b>Editor’s note –</b> a previous version of this story incorrectly identified what the Frederiksted Clinic funds are to be spent on. They are to be spent on capital renovations and repairs to the clinic.
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