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(Washington, DC)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that her request to support the expansion of the Avis Goodwin Community Health Center has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Shaheen secured $125,000 to expand Avis Goodwin's mental, medical and oral health facilities, which will allow the health center to treat approximately 3,000 additional under- and uninsured Strafford County residents. The legislation will now go to the full Senate for final passage.

"Community health centers play an important role in delivering affordable care to the nation's under- and uninsured, which is extremely important in this tough economy," said Shaheen. "Projects like this will help drive down the costs of health care for New Hampshire residents while improving the quality of care that they receive." 

"I'd like to thank Senator Shaheen for supporting our efforts to expand access to care in New Hampshire. These funds will go to building a centralized facility in Somersworth, which will allow us to see an additional 3,000 patients," said Janet Atkins, executive director of the Avis Goodwin Community Health Center. "I appreciate the time she and her staff took to learn about the project, and want to express how much this means to the community."

The Avis Goodwin Community Health Center provides treatment to almost 8,000 individuals in Strafford County, 40 percent of whom are uninsured. This funding will help construct a new expanded health center in Somersworth that will consolidate, under one roof, the four separate facilities that currently comprise the center. The consolidated space will enable the center to provide care to an additional 3,000 under- and uninsured patients, and will save $200,000 annually in operating expenses. With the savings, Avis Goodwin will be able to create seven additional full-time jobs in health care.

The funding was approved by the Appropriations Committee as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which includes $3,854,000 for projects in New Hampshire.