In celebration of National Health Center Week, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today visited the Minnie Jones Health Center in Asheville. Hagan toured the center with CEO Carlos Gomez and co-founder Minnie Jones. The Minnie Jones Health Center, which served 18,000 patients in 2010, provides dental care, primary care, behavioral care, substance abuse and HIV services to the community.
"In this tough economy, our community health centers are more important than ever," Hagan said. "The dedicated staff at the Minnie Jones Health Center is helping to ensure that quality affordable health care is within reach for all North Carolina families. North Carolina's 160 community health centers serve 450,000 patients across the state. Many of these patients live in our most underserved areas. I will continue working with our health centers to expand access to health care services in North Carolina and around the country."
Community health centers serve 20 million people nationally. Ninety-three percent of health center patients nationwide live below 200% of the poverty line, which is less than $44,000 a year for a family of four. Close to half of the patients also do not have health insurance.