Funding uncertainty prompts Westside Family Healthcare leave Middletown
Nonprofit community health provider Westside Family Healthcare is closing its Middletown location over worries some of its funding is about to dry up.
Westside Director of External Affairs Maggie Norris-Bent says the decision stems from uncertainty surrounding a federal grant program.
“Community health centers have had support on both sides of the aisle for decades, and I think that support is absolutely there, but how to pay for the funding is still in debate, and really, Congress has until December 31st to make a decision,” said Norris-Bent.
Westside receives about 31 percent of its annual funding from a federal grant program. Most of that money, about $5 million dollars, will be cut off if Congress does not pass new legislation by the end of the year to maintain the program.
This uncertainty has led officials with Westside to not renew the five-year lease at its Middletown location.
Norris-Bent says Middletown staff will move to Westside’s Bear location fifteen miles away, and all patients have been notified of the change.
“We work in communities that are in high need, and so we are very well aware there are some barriers and transportation is definitely one of them," said Norris-Bent. "So, we are going to be working one on one with patients who come to us who need extra support to try to find the best option for them.”
The Westside Family Healthcare Middletown location has been open since 2012, and will close effective November 28.
The organization has locations in Dover, Bear, Newark and Wilmington.NC