U.S. Representative Tom Allen, a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Health Subcommittee, issued the statement below concerning the reauthorization of the Community Health Centers and National Health Service Corps.
"I was pleased to vote in support of H.R. 1343, the Community Health Centers Renewal Act which authorizes $13.1 billion for the centers through fiscal year 2012. There are more than 6,300 clinics across the country, including 18 in Maine. This investment will not only help reach new patients, but ensure that the care provided to approximately 205,000 existing patients in Maine is comprehensive and sustainable."
"The measure also reauthorizes the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Loan Repayment Program through 2012, which offers scholarships and educational loans for healthcare professionals who, in turn, agree to serve in communities that have a shortage of healthcare providers. Maine has 43 clinicians at 36 sites, many in the most remote areas of our state. For over 35 years, NHSC clinicians have expanded access to primary and preventive health care, dental care, mental health and behavioral health services in underserved areas of the country and have improved health outcomes among difficult to reach populations. Bolstering investment in the National Health Services Corps and Loan Repayment Program provides a crucial tool to ensure that the doctors, dentists, nurses, physician assistants and other health care providers reach the communities where they're most needed."