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    Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley of Allentown, Pa. was officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2004 by a group of concerned community residents. Their goal was to meet the need for a coordinated system of primary care for the uninsured and/or underinsured residents in the Lehigh Valley.

    After obtaining designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center-Look-Alike in September 2010, NHCLV submitted a New Access Point application in November 2010 and was awarded grant funding in 2012. NHCLV currently operates primary care sites in downtown Allentown, Southside Bethlehem, and Easton’s West Ward. It is the first Federally Qualified Health Center in the Lehigh Valley.

    An estimated 37,770 persons reside in NHCLV’s service area, of which 70.4% (26,583) are below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, including 15,390 persons whose income level falls below 100% of the FPL. The racial make-up of the service area is 59.3% Hispanic or Latino, 48.8% White, 21.2% Black/African-American, and the remaining 1.6% is Asian, multi-racial, or other. The service area population that is uninsured numbers 7,752 persons, all of whom are part of NHCLV’s target population.

    The target population confronts obstacles to obtaining routine and preventive primary care services due to linguistic and transportation barriers and extreme poverty.

    Health disparities in the service area include high infant mortality rates, low birth weight, teen pregnancies, heart disease, cancer, suicide, and diabetes.

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    Deeming Notice / Federal Tort Claims Act

    Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), is deemed by the Bureau of Primary Health Care of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to be a federal employee for purposes of medical malpractice claims and, as such, qualified for protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

    This health center receives U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funding and has Federal Public Health Service (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.

    According to the FTCA requirements, medical malpractice claims against the health center are reviewed and/or litigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An individual who has a claim against the health center is to file an administrative claim with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the following address:

    Office of the General Counsel
    General Law Division Claims and Employment Law Branch
    330 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 5362
    Washington, DC 20201
    Attention: CLAIMS
    Phone No.: 202-619-0171
    Fax No.: 202-619-2922

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