12/08/05 — WATCH receives $41,900 grant

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WATCH receives $41,900 grant

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 8, 2005 1:45 PM

Wayne Action Teams for Community Health, known as WATCH, has received a $41,900 community health grant from the state for the coming year, the board of directors learned Wednesday.

Sissy Lee-Elmore, WATCH director, said that the state had allocated $7 million for community health centers last year. That amount dropped to $2 million this year, she said, but the criteria changed so that WATCH was eligible for the funds.

"They added the number of participants, and added free clinics to that," she said. Instead of reducing their chances of receiving grant money, it worked for them, she said.

"It was not money that we anticipated," she said.

Ms. Lee-Elmore credited the efforts of Sen. John Kerr in the process.

"Sen. Kerr was instrumental in changing the wording to allow free clinics to apply for some of the funding," she said.

She said that Kerr and board member Murray Porter worked toward getting WATCH all the organization had requested. While the maximum available to them was $75,000, she said, "Because we didn't see fit to push for the $75,000 and instead asked for $41,900, we were one of the few that got everything that we asked for."

The allocation came through the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' office of research, demonstrations, and rural health development, Ms. Lee-Elmore said.

Health Director and board member James Roosen said, "I think getting the guidelines changed on the grant is a good move, and you all did a good job with that."

Also during the board's end-of-year meeting, Murray Porter was elected new chairman, succeeding Gwyn Wilson. Shirley Sims was named vice chair. Rick Rogers and Cindy Archie were named the board's secretary and treasurer, respectively.