GREGG AND SHAHEEN ANNOUNCE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE SUPPORT FOR NH COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

July 30, 2009

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved significant federal funds for New Hampshire's community health centers. The measure includes $650,000 for Bi-State Primary Care Association in Concord, the State's largest network of community health centers (CHCs), to help defray increasing recruitment, marketing and outreach costs to promote employment opportunities for primary care providers at Granite State CHCs and safety net provider clinics.   This initiative is intended to attract more doctors and nurses to work at New Hampshire's CHCs thus increasing the CHC's ability to provide health care to people who may not otherwise be able to afford it.  The measure also includes $600,000 for Bi-State to provide necessary medical, behavioral health and dental services to the uninsured and underinsured in the Granite State. 

Funding for these projects is included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, which is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. The funding is included within the Committee allocation set out for the Fiscal Year 2010 spending measures.

Senator Gregg stated, "Especially in these tough economic times, community health centers are a critical resource for many New Hampshire individuals and families who might not otherwise have access to health care.  These funds will help community health centers across the state to recruit doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, and continue to offer lower-cost, high-quality preventative and routine health care.  I applaud Bi-State for their ongoing efforts to provide these much needed services in the Granite State."

Senator Shaheen stated, "As more families in New Hampshire struggle to afford health care in this economy, community health centers  are playing an even more critical role in keeping our state healthy. This funding will help uninsured and underinsured families weather this economic storm; will create jobs for doctors, nurses and other health professionals; and will allow Bi-State to expand affordable health care services across the state."

"New Hampshire Community Health Centers serve over 107,000 patients in communities statewide, regardless of a patient's ability to pay.  Senators Gregg and Shaheen have a clear understanding of the value they bring to their communities by delivering high-quality, cost-effective medical, dental and behavioral health care; making them a sound investment for scarce public resources.  We are grateful to Senators Gregg and Shaheen for championing this additional funding to assist the Community Health Centers in serving the uninsured and underserved populations," said Tess Kuenning Executive Director of Bi-State Primary Care Association.  Bi-State is an association with a vision to promote health care access to all.

The following New Hampshire Community Health Centers and safety net provider organizations will benefit from these awards: Ammonoosuc Community Health Services; Avis Goodwin Community Health Center; Bi-State Primary Care Association; Child Health Services; Community Action Program; Concord Hospital Family Health Centers; Coos County Family Health Services; Families First Health and Support Center; Health Care for the Homeless Program; Health First Family Care Center; Indian Stream Health Center; Lamprey Health Care; Manchester Community Health Center; Mid-State Health Center; New Hampshire Area Health Education Center Program Office; Newport Health Center/New London Hospital Association; Weeks Medical Center; and White Mountain Community Health Center.

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