By Amy Simmons Farber
It will be an exciting day in St. Louis tomorrow and a great day for the future of health care. Dr. Mary Wakefield, Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will visit Grace Hill’s Water Tower Health Center and present a check to Alan O. Freeman, President and CEO. The check for $2 million is the first installment of funds from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the new health reform law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made the announcement last week, as it happens, when she stopped by the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee, WI. Sixteenth Street received $2.6 million to be used toward the creation of a satellite health center site in Waukesha. You can see a Fox News Clip about her visit here.
The $727 million in funds from the ACA to 143 Community Health Centers across the country will address pressing construction and renovation needs and expand access to quality health care (view HHS press release). The investment comes as health centers cope with unprecedented demand for their services and need to expand and renovate their facilities to make room for more. NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden said in a NACHC statement, “The timing could not be more critical. As Secretary Sebelius has noted, the economic downturn has made it difficult for millions of people to get preventive care to stay healthy. Thanks to the investment in health centers under the new health reform law, primary care services will expand to communities all over America and provide patients with quality health options that deliver excellence and cost savings to the entire system.”
Under the new health reform law, 40 million people across America will access care at a Community Health Center. And that is something to celebrate!