CHARLESTON, W.Va. –The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today received notice from two members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency, will be awarding a Black Lung Program grant in the amount of $626,520 to the Bureau for Public Health and $626,520 to the West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA), resulting in an overall funding reduction of $171,328 from last year.
“We are extremely disappointed in the funding approved for West Virginia’s Black Lung Program and by the unfair cap and tier system that only affects West Virginia,” said Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health. “Besides the reduction, we have to now pay administrative costs, which means less money to support the clinics. Additionally, HRSA failed to provide any legitimate reasons for the funding award changes.”
Tierney said that with the Black Lung Program receiving just over $1.2 million this year, the program will continue to offer and support critical clinical services for West Virginia coal miners and others living with Black Lung, due to the WVPCA partnership.
West Virginia Black Lung Program Funding History
- 2010 - $1,508,654
- 2011 - $1,508,749
- 2012 - $1,507,323 ( - $1,426 from previous year)
- 2013 - $1,424,368 ( - $82,955 from previous year)
- 2014 - $1,253,040 ( - $171,328 from previous year)
In 2012-2013, the West Virginia Black Lung Program had 52,787 patient encounters.
Toby D. Wagoner ■ Public Information Officer ■ Bureau for Public Health ■ Phone: (304) 356-4042 ■ E-mail: Toby.D.Wagoner@WV.Gov