Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
We’re in our Spring Fundraiser and you can help! Support KSMU programming today!

Poplar Bluff health center receives ARPA funds for expansion

Big Springs Medical Association, which operates as Missouri Highlands Healthcare in Poplar Bluff, plans to use the funds to complete a new three story building.

A federally qualified health center in Southeast Missouri is getting a financial boost to its plan for expansion.

Big Springs Medical Association, which operates as Missouri Highlands Healthcare in Poplar Bluff, expects to receive an 8.4 million dollar Rural Health Care Grant to complete a new three story facility. The one-time grant is a part of the American Rescue Plan Act, and is distributed by the USDA.

Missouri Highlands CEO Karen White said they were already aware of the need in their community and had begun plans to build a new site in Poplar Bluff before they became aware of the grant.

It, along with a USDA loan, will help bring the project to completion, ultimately combining services from three current Poplar Bluff offices, such as prenatal, dental, and substance abuse treatment, and expanding on services, like offering an in-house pharmacy. White emphasized Missouri Highlands serves a population that faces numerous barriers to healthcare, such as a lack of insurance and reliable transportation. She noted that in the new clinic for example, expecting mothers could get a checkup and see the dentist in one visit. White explained, that for many pregnant women this may be the only time in their life that they have coverage for dental work, and easy access is critical.

Kyle Wilkins, USDA rural development director in Missouri said the agency expects over 100,000 residents in the area to benefit from the project. Wilkins said sparse tax bases and limited resources in rural areas often make it difficult for a community to afford initial investments in development like this. This Emergency Healthcare Grant is a one-time grant, but his agency manages a variety of grant and loan programs designed to support development in a sustainable and impactful way.

The new facility is slated to be completed by 2025.

Follow this link for more information about USDA rural development in Missouri.