Senator John Kerry, along with Congressmen John Olver, Michael Capuano, Richard Neal, William Keating, James McGovern, and John Tierney, today announced that 11 community health centers across Massachusetts will receive $33,716,628 to support renovation and construction projects that will help to create jobs, expand affordable health care, and boost the centers' ability to serve more patients.
This is the latest round of federal funding delivered to Massachusetts as part of the health reform law and is awarded through two capital programs -- the Building Capacity Grant and Immediate Facility Improvements Program. The funding will go toward longer-term projects that will expand facilities, improve existing services, and serve more patients, in addition to addressing pressing facility and equipment needs.
"Community health centers across Massachusetts are a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people," said Sen. Kerry. "This investment will do what we worked to do in the Affordable Care Act, which is provide more services to more patients, and help provide quality, affordable service day in and day out."
"I am happy to see that both the Holyoke Health Center and Community Health Connections, Inc. in Fitchburg received this funding to help increase access to these two vital community health partners," said Rep. Olver. "No one should question the importance of preventative care and we as a nation must continue to invest in community health centers like these, who are on the ground every day making sure everyone has access to the comprehensive healthcare and services they need."
"Community health centers are so important to the well being of our neighborhoods because of the services they provide and the programming that they offer," said Rep. Capuano. "These funds will help existing community health centers do even more for their patients by improving existing facilities and expanding services."
"For many years, I have been a strong advocate of expanding community health care centers throughout western Massachusetts," said Rep. Neal. "These centers provide families in cities like Springfield and Holyoke crucial access to health care services and preventive care. They also a terrific economic development engine. I believe we should improve and expand access to quality care, and these federal funds will allow our local community health centers to continue to deliver care to thousands of people in the Pioneer Valley."
"It cannot be disputed that Community Health Centers are a vital part of our health care system, providing services to over 600,000 Massachusetts residents," said Rep. Keating. "The invaluable services this funding would provide including 3 additional examination rooms, a new full-time geriatrician to serve the growing elder population and a new center of primary care for residents of public housing with available shuttle van service. Thanks to the $500,000 grant, Manet's Hull site will be able to serve 1,508 additional patients, totaling over 4,500 patients treated annually. The $5 million grant, which continues the expansion of the North Quincy site, will allow 7,000 new patients to be treated, raising the annual total to over 30,000. These grants will translate into real results and solutions for many residents in our area and I applaud the Obama Administration for awarding Manet these funds."
"The Family Health Center does incredible work in Worcester, and I was proud to be a strong supporter of their application," said Rep. McGovern. "Community health centers are vital components of our health care system. This funding will allow the Family Health Center to better provide services to families in our community."
"The North Shore Community Health Center has a long history of providing essential health services to men, women and children in our communities," said Rep. Tierney. "This $489,500 federal grant, funded through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will allow the organization to modernize its infrastructure and expand services in Salem. I applaud all the hard working men and women who staff the four health center sites and ensure that our families have access to the health care they need."
Today in Massachusetts, 50 community health centers provide high quality care to some 800,000 residents through more than 280 sites statewide.
As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, Kerry fought to include increased funding to community health centers as part of national health reform. This month, he sent a letter to the Health Resources and Services Administrator Wakefield on behalf of the Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center in support of its application for funding.
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