Health centers in underserved Texas communities may benefit from a new grant offered by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department is offering a total of $20 million to help provide access to health care in areas with limited resources, according to a news release.

Grants from the Federally Qualified Health Center Incubator Program will help public and nonprofit health providers expand their services for underserved and uninsured Texans, the release said. A federally qualified health center, or FQHC, is in an underserved area, offers sliding prices and provides comprehensive services, according to These services include preventive health care, dental care, mental and substance abuse care, and more.

Existing FQHCs and similar organizations can receive up to $500,000 in grant funds, according to the DSHS. Centers can use the funds to purchase new equipment, hire staff, improve facilities and more.

Nonprofit organizations that are working to become FQHCs can receive up to $1 million to help with start-up and certification costs, the release said.

In October 2021, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 8, which divided funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Lawmakers allocated $20 million for FQHCs out of nearly $16 billion in federal funds.

“Federally Qualified Health Centers are a valuable support for people who need essential medical care but live in areas where resources are scarce and access can be challenging,” Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, said in the release. “... These grants are intended to bridge the gap between start-up cost and full certification to enable the program to expand in Texas.”

Health centers can apply for the grant through Dec. 31 or until all the funds are distributed. To be eligible, organizations must complete their funded activities by Aug. 31, 2023, according to the release.