KLYQ: More Funds for Hamilton’s Sapphire Community Health Center

by Steve Fullerton

Sapphire Community Health Center in Hamilton is one of a dozen health centers in Montana to receive another surge of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Statewide, $7 million is being sent to help upgrade and expand the individual facilities, continuing their role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sapphire, on North 3rd Street in Hamilton, will receive $519,360, according to Montana Senator Jon Tester, who made the announcement at the beginning of the month. Sapphire Community Health Center uses a sliding fee scale when they accept patients, reducing the barriers of insurance and cost.

The other centers in the list each received about $600,000 and were: Glacier Community Health Center in Cut Bank, Lincoln Community Health Center in Libby, Yellowstone City-County Health Dept in Billings, Bighorn Valley Health Center in Hardin, Community Health Partners in Livingston, Community Health Care Center in Great Falls, Flathead Community Health Center in Kalispell, Marias Healthcare Services in Shelby, Butte-Silver Bow Primary Health Care Clinic, Missoula County CHC in Missoula and Montana Migrant & Seasonal Farm Workers Council in Billings.

Tester said in a news release, “Community Health Centers provide folks across Montana with affordable, high-quality health care and have been on the frontlines of protecting Montana’s frontier communities from the COVID-19 pandemic. I was proud to secure this funding through the American Rescue Plan Act because these centers are a critical piece of the Health care system in Montana.” He said the centers serve an estimated one in five people in rural communities.