Community health centers throughout the United States and Puerto Rico have been awarded funds to expand their healthcare offerings.

Sixty-seven community health center programs in 23 states and Puerto Rico will receive $28.8 million in grants, Reuters reported. The funds are part of the Affordable Health Act.

The grants will help serve 286,000 additional patients, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

"These awards demonstrate a commitment to improving and expanding access to quality health care for local communities," HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement on Tuesday. "We are removing barriers that stand in the way of affordable and accessible primary health services."

Independent community health centers are said to provide more options to those without health insurance. They also alleviate some of the chaos in hospital emergency rooms.

The HHS received 810 applications and awarded grants to 67 community health center programs. Ten of those centers plan to start new community centers, while the others will add new services, according to Reuters.

Two Florida health providers- Collier Health Services of Immokalee and Bond Community Health Center of Jacksonville- received $430,000 each to fund new clinics, according to the Web site

"We are making an investment in the health of people and the health of our communities," Sebelius said in a statement.