Months of advocacy by community health care centers around the country, including Fenway Health, resulted in passage last week of legislation to continue federal funding of community health care centers for two years.
Congress allocates about $3.6 billion annually to community health care centers around the country, but federal funding expired last October. The budget agreement passed by Congress last week and signed by President Trump authorized funding to reopen the federal government after a brief, six-hour shutdown. The measure also included two years of funding for community health care centers, which serve some of the country’s most vulnerable populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people; black and Hispanic people; and people with low incomes.
“This is extremely good news for our patients and their families, and for the 27 million people across the country who rely on community health care centers for their medical needs,” said Fenway Health Interim CEO Darlene Stromstad, FACHE. “Community health care centers deliver high quality care to people who might otherwise not access it, and stable funding is necessary for both short-term needs as well as long-term planning.”
Approximately 19 percent of people in Massachusetts receive their health care at community health care centers, including Fenway Health, and the state receives about $196 million from the federal government for these centers.
“Providing high quality health care to our patients is what we do best,” Stromstad added. “We’re happy to put this period of uncertainty behind us, and we’re grateful to Congress for resolving this important issue and thankful to all the people who advocated on our behalf.”
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