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A half-dozen local health centers in the tri-state area have been awarded grants to help develop and improve electronic health records.

A $61,832 grant to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority and a $48,360 grant to Hamilton County were part of $1.6 million in funding awarded to 26 health centers in Tennessee, according to an announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

Other grants included $59,290 to the Georgia Mountains Health Services Inc. in Blue Ridge; $43,395 to North Georgia Health Care Centers Inc. in Ringgold; $61,060 to Primary Health Care Center of Dade County, in Trenton, and $56,207 to Northeast Alabama Health Services, in Scottsboro.

All told, Burwell said in a news release, $87 million was handed out to 1,310 health centers in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin.

"This investment will help unlock health care data and put it to work, improving health outcomes and building a better health care system for the American people," Burwell said in the release. 

"These awards will allow health centers to deliver higher quality of care to patients and spend health care dollars in a smarter way," said Jim Macrae, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Acting Administrator. 

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