CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)- The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) will receive $1.8 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help coal miners and others living with Black Lung disease.
The funds will help support nine community health centers across the state which sponsor 20 Black Lung clinics that provide direct services to assist coal miners who have respiratory and pulmonary conditions as a result of working in coal mines.
“There are currently about 8,000 patients receiving health services through the West Virginia Black Lung Program,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “The Black Lung Program is critical, as it provides essential health services to help West Virginia coal miners get the care they need. The aim is to expand services to as many of our coal miners and others who are impacted by this very serious disease.”
Black Lung clinics provide direct services that include outreach and education, primary care, patient and family education and counseling, patient care and coordination and pulmonary rehabilitation to coal miners and their families regardless of their ability to pay.
Details have not been released by HHS as to when these clinics will have the federal funds in-hand.
More information about the Black Lung Program is online at dhhr.wv.gov/dpc.