Alexander Valley Healthcare, a small clinic in Cloverdale, has been given a crucial federal designation that will allow the center to receive enhanced government reimbursements.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that the Cloverdale clinic would become a federally qualified health center, or FQHC, and receive $733,333 in funds aimed at expanding services to its uninsured and under-insured patients.

The funds are part of $150 million in awards given under the Affordable Care Act to support 236 new health center sites across the country.

"It's really exciting for Alexander Valley because they've been a rural health clinic for a long time and have been trying to serve the needs of the uninsured population on a sliding scale, but without the federally qualified health dollars," said Pedro Toledo, a spokesman for the Redwood Community Health Coalition, a consortium of 16 health centers in Napa, Sonoma, Marin and Yolo counties.

Toledo said the Cloverdale clinic, which is part of the consortium, was the last of the network's clinics to obtain the federally qualified status. The center has been trying to get obtain the status for many years.

"This grant will complement and support our community health centers' ongoing efforts to expand access to affordable health care services to North Bay residents," Toledo said.