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Senator Santorum Attends Grand Opening Celebration of Esperanza Health Center's New Fifth Street Facility

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Date:
Location: Philadelphia, PA


Senator Santorum Attends Grand Opening Celebration of Esperanza Health Center's New Fifth Street Facility

Philadelphia, PA - U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today attended and offered remarks at the grand opening of Esperanza Health Center's new Fifth Street facility in Philadelphia.

Esperanza Health Center provides holistic, bilingual and bicultural healthcare to underserved communities of Philadelphia. Esperanza currently serves more than 4,000 patients annually through more than 12,000 medical care visits. Esperanza Health Center is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), and is recognized as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Bureau of Primary Health Care.

"I am pleased to be here today at the new Fifth Street facility and proud to support community health centers like Esperanza Health Center. In support of community health centers, earlier this year I wrote the Labor, HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member in support of a $181 million increase above the Fiscal Year 2006 funding level," said Senator Santorum.

In 2005, Senator Santorum introduced the Community Health Center Volunteer Physician Protection Act of 2005 which would ensure that volunteer physicians at community health centers receive medical liability protections so they may continue to efficiently offer primary and preventative health care services to everyone, including low-income, underinsured, and uninsured families.

While many physicians are willing to volunteer their services at these centers, there is often hesitation due to the high cost of medical liability insurance. As a result, there are too few volunteer physicians to meet the community's health care needs.

"We want to encourage, rather than discourage medical professionals from volunteering their valuable services. There are so many generous individuals willing to give their time and services and this legislation would extend protections against medical liability to volunteer physicians at community health centers," said Senator Santorum.

Senator Santorum also supported passage of the Patient Navigator Outreach and Chronic Disease Prevention Act of 2005, which helps medically underserved communities and individuals with language and cultural barriers have access to prevention, early detection, treatment and appropriate follow-up care services for cancer and chronic diseases. This legislation would help patients navigate barriers in the healthcare system, and strengthen and build upon efforts, like Esperanza's, to better address the healthcare needs of underserved communities.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=2004&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0

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