Health Center News, Uncategorized

2009 S/RPCA Conference: Underway in Albuquerque

By: Beau Boughamer

The 2009 State/Regional Primary Care Association Conference is underway in Albuquerque, New Mexico!  This annual event draws more than 100 local state and national leaders for a discussion of issues critical to health care for the underserved.

NACHC Board Chair Anita Monoian noted during Tuesday morning’s opening session that the recent health reform vote in the U.S. House “promises America better health care and more affordable health care.  We should just be beyond proud” of health centers’ impact on health care and the reform debate, she added.

Monoian said the spotlight will be on health centers as the country approaches the one-year anniversary of the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), or economic stimulus bill.  “Everyone must understand the need for accurate and for comprehensive (ARRA) reporting,” she said.

The 2009 Henry Fiumelli Patient Advocate Award was presented to Jessica Sanchez, Clinical Quality Division Director for the, for her outstanding work and “tireless, passionate pursuit of social justice.”

“I am extremely honored to be standing here in front of leaders and mentors,” Sanchez said.

Attendees also heard from Tess Kuenning, head of New Hampshire’s and Vermont’s Bi-State Primary Care Association and chair of NACHC’s PCA Steering Committee.  “This whole symbiosis between states and the federal government — there’s so much work to be done,” she said.

Harriet Brandstetter, who heads La Clinica de Familia, Inc. in Las Cruces, N.M. and current President of the New Mexico Primary Care Association, welcomed those gathered to the Land of Enchantment.  Her remarks traced the history of health centers, including the tremendous funding challenges they faced in decades past  Today, health centers “are recognized as the most effective programs in government and funded accordingly,” she said.

The S/RPCA Conference continues through Wednesday afternoon.