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Senator Shaheen announces funding for new health center


Senator Jeanne Shaheen has announced that the Senate appropriations committee has approved $150,000 for Coos County Family Health Service's new Gorham offi ce.

Shaheen issued a press release Tuesday announcing the funding request, which is attached to the 2011 Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriation bill, was approved by the committee and is now moving forward for consideration by the full Senate.

The $150,000 appropriation would go towards C.C.F.H.S.'s project to build a new offi ce in Gorham.

"Providing access to quality affordable health care has been a priority of mine in the Senate, but that goal would not be possible without outstanding community partners like Coos County Family Health Services," said Shaheen, in a press release. "No family should face bankruptcy because of health care bills, and I am pleased to support a project that will allow Coos County Family Health Services to provide health care to countless more families regardless of their economic status."

C.C.F.H.S. plans to build a new 24,000 square foot health center in Gorham to replace its current offi ce. The organization began looking to build the new offi ce since its current location is too small to accommodate the increasing number of patients and have space for future growth.

The estimated cost of the project is $6.5- $9.5 million, including construction and outfi tting it with equipment.

A preliminary timeframe for the construction includes an possible opening date in 2011.

"On behalf of the patients, staff, and Board of Coos County Family Health Services I am extremely grateful to Senator Shaheen for obtaining this funding for a new facility for C.C.F.H.S.," said C.C.F.H.S. C.E.O. Adele Woods. "During the past year we have seen an increase in uninsured and underinsured patients who need not only primary and preventive health care services but also on-site behavioral and oral health services."

"It is our sincere hope that with a new medical offi ce that encompasses comprehensive clinical services C.C.F.H.S. will be better able to serve the citizens of the Androscoggin Valley," added Woods.

C.C.F.H.S. was awarded C.D.B.G. funds to conduct a feasilbity study to plan the facility, and applied for a second grant for $500,000 to put towards construction.