Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the Department of Health and Human Services released over $1.17 million in emergency grants to 16 community health centers, Pueblo health centers and Urban Indian Organizations on the front lines of New Mexico's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $1,175,940 in funding, provided to community health centers across nine New Mexico counties, will provide some immediate funding for health centers to respond to COVID-19 while continuing to support essential primary cares services to underserved populations. The funding announced today is part of the over $8 billion emergency supplemental appropriations bill passed by Congress on March 5 to bolster the U.S. coronavirus response, supported by the full New Mexico delegation. Congress is currently negotiating a third public health and economic response package.
"I am glad to see this funding go directly to health centers and health care workers on the front lines of this pandemic -- we must support them fully during this challenging time for the nation," Udall said. "We are working around the clock to put important resources into the hands of medical professionals, states and Tribes as quickly as possible. This funding is a good first step, but health centers need more resources immediately. As Congress continues to negotiate a third emergency response package, I will keep fighting for additional funding for health centers and all of our health care professionals in New Mexico who are on the front lines saving lives every day."
"Our community health centers and tribal health clinics are where New Mexicans in all corners of our state turn for care," Heinrich said. "This funding is a critical first step for providing these health providers with the equipment and resources they need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and keep meeting all the other health care needs in their communities. I will keep doing everything in my power to steer federal support to those on the frontlines of this crisis so they can continue executing an effective, science-based public health response."
"As with any difficult time, New Mexicans are working together to address COVID-19 and keep our families and communities healthy. I am proud that the first coronavirus response package that Congress passed is already having tangible impacts on our communities. Local health centers and health care workers are on the front lines of this crisis and it's vital that we support them," said Luján. "While we address this crisis and negotiate further response packages, I will continue fighting to ensure our state and Tribal nations get the resources they need to get through this moment."
"New Mexico needs resources if we're going to stop the spread of coronavirus, but those have been coming in too slowly. This funding will be available directly to health care providers and workers in every community across the state, so that we can support the important work they're doing on the front lines to keep families healthy," said Haaland.
"As our community works to confront challenges from COVID-19 together, the existing disparities between rural and urban areas have only heightened, highlighting the need to expand resources to all corners of the district. I voted for the first $8.3 emergency supplemental to make sure our rural health care providers are made a priority. This funding marks important progress in serving those on the frontlines protecting families in communities like Hatch, Fort Sumner, Lordsburg, Las Cruces, and Portales. I will continue to fight for our district's priorities in the third upcoming emergency response funding package," said Torres Small.