Peak Vista Community Health Centers' patient wait list is on track to be eliminated, and officials say a new federal grant could help keep it that way.

The nonprofit organization expects to treat about 7,000 new patients during the next two years after being awarded a $758,333 grant on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Specifically, the grant will help expand Peak Vista's new location at the former Penrose Community Hospital off Academy Boulevard by hiring six new providers - a mix of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants - and 10 clinical support staff members, said Pam McManus, the nonprofit's chief executive.

In all, three federal community health centers in Colorado received nearly $1.8 million in federal grants on Thursday aimed at increasing patient capacity in light of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

About $150 million in similar grants were awarded to 233 other health center programs outside of Colorado, the department said.

For Peak Vista, the two-year grant signals another expansion at its new location which opened in January off Academy Boulevard near Village Road.

The facility - which was once a 100,000-square-foot hospital and an 89,000-square-foot medical office building - now includes two family health centers, a pharmacy, a convenient care center, a laboratory, an enrollment services office and a health center for the developmentally disabled, said Randy Hylton, the nonprofit's spokesman.

The expansions, along with a few other initiatives, helped reduce of the nonprofit's wait list, which reached 9,000 uninsured people in January 2012, he said.

Now, the organization is on track to eliminate that list by the end of the year, Hylton said, adding that the new grant should make the list a thing of the past.

"We are on pace, but there a number of factors involved that could affect it," he said.


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