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Forum staff reports, Published December 09 2009

Family HealthCare Center gets $6.6M grant for new facility

FARGO – Family HealthCare Center in Fargo has been awarded a $6.6 million federal stimulus grant that will allow it to move ahead with plans to buy and renovate the vacant Richtman’s building in downtown Fargo, a few blocks southeast of its current location.

“Our ability to serve the most vulnerable patients in our community will change significantly,” FHC Executive Director Patricia Patron said in a news release.

Since 1995, the private nonprofit provider has offered medical and dental services at 306 4th St. N., in a building also occupied by Fargo Cass Public Health.

FHC operates a second dental clinic at 715 11th St. N. in Moorhead. Homeless health care, including mental health and substance abuse services, is provided in the basement of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 670 4th Ave. N. The organization’s administrative offices are located in yet another building, near the main clinic.

Consolidating the sites into the Richtman’s building will provide nearly twice as much space in one centralized location, the news release stated.

“A new facility won’t change our mission,” Patron said. “However, our ability to provide health care to patients struggling to access timely, high quality and cost-efficient services will be considerably improved.”

When the project is complete, Patron expects to double the number of patients served and add 18 full-time staff positions.

The renovation project is expected to employ more than 50 full-time construction workers.

The Health Resources and Services Administration Facilities Improvement Grant is part of the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus program.