Ruiz secures $1.85M toward three Blythe projects: Plans to bolster healthcare, drinking water access

August 5, 2021
In The News

July wrapped a busy month of wins for the Blythe constituency, with California 36th District Congress Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz further securing $1.85 million in Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriation bills toward area projects. 

In addition to the previously reported American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds toward the Riverside County Office of Education Head Start programs – of which Palo Verde Unified School District (PVUSD) will be a beneficiary – Ruiz also secured $1 million toward expanding the Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo’s Blythe Health Center (by 138.779% in square feet), $350,000 to the Palo Verde Hospital (PVH) toward integrating a mobile health unit and $500,000 to the City of Blythe toward the replacement of a water tank serving Palo Verde College (PVC) and neighboring residents. 

“Today’s announcement is great news for the residents of Blythe,” stated Ruiz. “The expansion of the Blythe Health Center and the addition of a mobile health unit for the Palo Verde Hospital District will improve access to quality, affordable health care services and greatly contribute to better health outcomes for Blythe residents. I’m also excited to have secured federal funding that will help the City of Blythe upgrade its water infrastructure and safeguard residents’ access to clean drinking water access for years to come. Once passed, this funding will bring incredible value to the Blythe community.” 

City of Blythe Mayor Dale Reynolds also added, “We are excited to see that our water reservoir project was included by the Appropriations Committee for funding. Constructing this water reservoir will secure the continued supply of reliable, clean, and safe drinking water and fire flow protection for our residents (...) The City appreciates Congressman Ruiz and the House Appropriations Committee for supporting this much needed water infrastructure project for the City of Blythe.” 

Ruiz’s three wins for Blythe were submitted by the California 36th District Congress representative following Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro’s announcement that each could submit “up to 10” local community projects for possible funding. All 10 of Ruiz’s submissions were approved for monies, including the three Blythe projects. 

“The Palo Verde Hospital would like to express their sincere gratitude to Congressman Ruiz for the $350,000 award and support for the Palo Verde Hospital’s Integrated Community Health Program,” stated PVH Outreach Project Administrator Liz Manjarrez. “The award will fund a mobile unit, tele-health equipment and components to address the lack of services in low-income families that live in Blythe’s remote and isolated areas. The mobile clinic is an essential component that will provide much needed clinical services in Blythe, Ripley, Mesa Verde, and Cibola. Therefore, it will close the health care gap by providing remote whole person care such as, diabetes education, managed care in chronic illness, and primary and mental health services.” 

Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo 

“$1 million to fund the expansion of the Blythe Health Center from 5,766 square feet to 13,768 square feet which will allow the center to accept roughly 6,000 additional patients per year, including the addition of behavioral health and dental services. This project expands health care access in a low-income, rural community through an FQHC which provides health care services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.” 

Palo Verde Hospital District 

“$350,000 to assist with the acquisition of a fully integrated mobile health unit with telehealth services. This mobile clinic will serve patients within 25 miles of Blythe. The region this project serves has high poverty rates and is a health provider shortage area for primary care, dental, and mental health care.” 

City of Blythe 

“$500,000 to fund the replacement of an existing 500,000-gallon water reservoir servicing the Palo Verde College and surrounding neighborhood with a new, bolted steel water tank of similar capacity. This water tank is the sole source of fire protection and safe, clean, and reliable drinking water for the College and nearby neighborhoods. The existing tank has been leaking for over a year and is in danger of failure, which would leave the community without water.”