CommUnityCare Health Centers Awarded $2.5 Million to Boost Sexual Health Services
Austin, TX – CommUnityCare Health Centers has been granted $500,000 per year for the next five years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The $2.5 million total award to the Travis County-based health center is part of a broader national strategy aimed at assisting communities dealing with a high occurrence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and a lack of adequate STI clinical services.
The financial award, named the Enhancing STI and Sexual Health Clinic Infrastructure (ESSHCI), comes from a sustained federal effort known as Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. CommUnityCare Health Centers is among the 26 recipients across the nation to receive this critical ESSHCI funding.
Recent information from the CDC indicates that STIs are becoming more common among various U.S. population groups, including racial and ethnic minority groups, men who have sex with men, and individuals aged 15-24 years. Locally, Austin Public Health reported in April 2023, that Travis County was experiencing an uptick in STI rates, signaling a pressing need for more resources focused on sexual health.
“Equitable access to sexual health services is essential to the health and well-being of the communities we serve,” said Dr. Nicholas Yagoda, Chief Medical Officer at CommUnityCare Health Centers. “It’s important that timely prevention, screening and treatment be easily available to help stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections and serious health problems later in life. We are honored to partner with the Centers for Disease and Control to better serve patients who often face greater health disparities.”
The David Powell Health Center in Central Austin has served as a hub for HIV treatment and Prevention for Central Texans since 1990. The Federally Qualified Health Center has since expanded sexual health services throughout the system.
CommUnityCare served more than 129,000 individual patients in 2022 across 28 clinical sites in Central Texas. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, CommUnityCare provides care to the un- and under-insured through a combination of funding from Central Health, federal and state government sources and private grant funding. Patients without insurance or other financial support are offered a sliding scale fee based on their household income.