The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday it will provide approximately $700 million to help build, expand and improve community health centers across the United States.

The funding will be split into two parts. About $600 million will be given to existing health centers for longer-term projects to expand their facilities, hire more employees and serve more patients. The remaining $100 million will go to existing health centers to address immediate facility needs, the Department said.

“Strengthening the foundation of community health centers is vital if we are to continue providing high-quality care for those who need it most,” said Dr. Mary Wakefield, head of the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The funding announced today comes after President Barack Obama presented a $447 billion jobs plan to Congress on Thursday.

According to the HHS, in 2010, community health centers employed more than 131,000 staff including 9,600 physicians, 6,400 nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and certified nurse midwives, 11,400 nurses, 9,500 dental staff, 4,200 behavioral health staff, and more than 12,000 case managers and health education, outreach, and transportation staff.

Currently, more than 8,100 health centers around the country deliver care to nearly 20 million patients, mostly low income Americans.

The funds were authorized by the Affordable Care Act which provides $11 billion over the next five years for the operation, expansion and construction of community health centers.