/ Modified oct 23, 2017 9:54 a.m.

Episode 338: The Future of Funding for Community Health Centers

Federal funding is in limbo for services for rural communities and children; and the UA is expanding its pharmacy classes.

Congressional leaders are working to renew funding for federal health programs that support the needs of Arizona’s children and residents of rural areas.

The fiscal year ended without the renewal of things like children’s health insurance and community health centers. Federal health dollars are in place until the end of 2017, but after that, the future of those services is in limbo in the communities that rely on them.

Arizona Week travels to Nogales, Arizona, a border town of about 23,000 people to visit the families that rely on community health services like KidsCare, federally funded under the CHIP program.

The Mariposa Community Health Center serves families like the Villarreals, who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and make too little to afford private health insurance. Cutting back on KidsCare means families like this one will likely foot the bill for treatment, or opt out of health care altogether.

Communities all over the country wait to see what federal lawmakers will do with the funding for the CHIP program and community health centers. Hear more from the family, and the health center, which expects to move forward with or without federal funding.

The effort to recruit and retain physicians is a challenge faced by many communities across the country, and it’s also true for pharmacists.

The University of Arizona is nearly doubling its class sizes, hoping that more pharmacists throughout the state means a healthier population.

Arizona Week sits down with a professor focusing on the college’s rural health profession program, which began in 1997 with four students. Last year, more than 86 students earned the certificate.

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