Vermont and Wisconsin produce good cheese, but lately these two states are also making a lot of good news worth spreading around. Flash back to picturesque Fairlee, VT, where the Bi-State Primary Care Association hosted their 24th Annual Primary Care Conference. Over 160 dedicated health center professionals from around the state attended the May conference to learn more about hot topics, such as health reform and health care quality measures. But the real hot topic was U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has dedicated his legislative energies to expanding Community Health Centers. When Sanders isn’t visiting a Community Health Center in his state, he’s usually talking about them on Capitol Hill, preaching the value of their cost-savings and their critical role in providing affordable primary care. If you work at a health center in Vermont, chances are you’ve met Sen. Sanders. That is why there were a lot of cheers and applause when Bi-State’s Executive Director, Tess Stack Kuenning (see photo) announced that the association has established the Senator Bernie Sanders Leadership Award to honor individuals who had significantly improved access to primary care.
Senator Sanders has been an avid supporter of Community Health Centers (CHCs) throughout his career,” said Kuenning. “Through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872), Senator Sanders helped secure funding that will enable Community Health Centers (CHCs) to expand their operational capacity and enhance accessibility to medical, oral, and behavioral health services in preparation for serving an additional 20 million patients nationwide.
Now onto Wisconsin, where the buzz is all about the great work health centers are doing, and will be doing in the future thanks to health reform. “It’s going to be a huge opportunity,” said Stephanie Harrison, executive director of the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, tells Milwaukee Journal Sentinelreporter Guy Boulton. You can read the full article here.
And pass the cheese!