Yavapai County Community Health Services is getting a quarter million dollars in federal stimulus money during the next two years.
The money will allow the cash-strapped department to expand its dental services in Cottonwood and its medical care services in Prescott Valley at a critical time, officials said.
"As people lose their jobs and their medical service, they come to us," said Robert Resendes, YCCHS director. "We're breaking records every month."
Records show that in March, the three medical clinics in Prescott, Prescott Valley and Cottonwood saw a total of 2,700 patients - their busiest month ever.
In March 2008, they saw 2,110 patients and the year before that, they saw only 1,333 patients.
"We're thrilled to have received the ... grant," said Peggy Nies, who, as director, oversees the three Community Health Centers of Yavapai.
Nies said the influx of the new federal money will help offset the loss of $129,000 from the $750,000 Arizona Primary Care grant, which is the main pot of money YCCHS uses to pay for doctors and other staff in the three county health clinics. YCCHS had been making up the amount from its rainy day fund.
Resendes said half of the new grant money will allow the Cottonwood dental clinic to hire an office manager and a new dental assistant so the clinic can be open four days a week instead of just two.
The other half, he said, will go to the county's Prescott Valley health clinic so they can expand services there.
The exact amount of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant is $254,166. The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Through the act, HHS has awarded more than $5.6 million in grants to expand health services across Arizona.