Mountain Park Health Center Visit

By:  Kathleen Sebelius
Date: July 10, 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Good afternoon and thank you all for being with us. Thank you, John, for that introduction--and for all of the terrific work you and your team do every day here at Mountain Park to improve the health of your community.

On October 1st, a new Health Insurance Marketplace will open for enrollment in every state. The next few months represent an unprecedented opportunity for millions of Americans to get connected with the security that quality, affordable health coverage provides--in some cases for the first time in their lives.

Education and outreach will be a critical part of seizing that opportunity. And because of the role they play in thousands of communities across the country, health centers like Mountain Park are uniquely positioned to contribute to our educational and outreach efforts.

Back in May, we announced a funding opportunity for community health centers to help them hire and train staff, upgrade their technological capacity, and conduct outreach and educational activities to help get Americans ready to enroll.

Today, we're pleased to announce that we've awarded $150 million to nearly 1,200 community health centers across the country. This funding--which was made possible by the Affordable Care Act--will help community providers reach uninsured Americans and get them signed up for coverage in the new Marketplace this fall.

Our national network of health centers serves more than 21 million patients each year, many of whom are uninsured. They are trusted resources--not only of care, but of information--in some of the neighborhoods that stand to benefit most from the expansion of health coverage. They have the ear of so many of the Americans whose lives could be transformed by the peace of mind that health coverage provides. And these awards will help them reach out and educate their neighbors about the new options coming their way this fall.

All told, this funding will allow those nearly 1,200 community health centers to assist up to an estimated 3.7 million Americans with enrollment. Here in Arizona, that means 17 health centers will have the additional resources they need to successfully reach up to 62,000 uninsured Arizonans.

One of those 17 centers is the one we're standing in--the Mountain Park Health Center. Mountain Park is a terrific example of the indispensible work that community health centers do in neighborhoods across Arizona and across the country.

I had the pleasure of touring the facility just moments ago, and got to see firsthand some of the impressive work that goes on in areas like pediatrics, internal medicine, and dentistry. Families here in Phoenix--and especially those who currently go without health coverage--depend on the team here at Mountain Park for quality care. And that's exactly what they get.

Thanks to the health care law and the awards we're announcing today, Mountain Park is receiving just over $200,000 to help spread the word about coverage in the Marketplace and get those families signed up.

And Mountain Park's work extends beyond its own neighborhood. They'll also be playing a key role in an initiative led by the Pima Community Access Program--one of our Connecting Kids to Coverage grantees. That project will help train more than 600 community organizations covering four counties to help children and families get covered. For many of those kids and their parents, this will be the first time they have access to health insurance.

Mountain Park is no stranger to serving its neighbors--it's been providing exceptional care for more than 30 years. Now, it and other health centers across the state have the resources and the opportunity to do even more. That's because connecting Arizona families with the security of affordable health coverage is one of the best ways they can improve the health of this community.

The Marketplace represents a new day for American health care--and it's right around the corner. As we move closer to open enrollment on October 1st, we're counting on health centers like Mountain Park to play a big part in educating their neighbors about the opportunities in store.

Thank you. And now I'd like to turn things over to Mayor Stanton.

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