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(Washington, D.C.)-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 as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama later this week. Shaheen secured $225,000 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.

"Too many families are struggling to pay for the health care they need, and community health centers play an important role in providing affordable care to the millions of under- and uninsured people across the country," said Shaheen. "Expanding Avis Goodwin will help New Hampshire families access quality, affordable health care." 

"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 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.

Avis Goodwin has also received funding for this project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and was recently recognized by President Obama at a White House event to acknowledge the valuable role that community health centers play.