Sanders, Federal Official Tout Health Clinics

By:  Sam Hemingway

Vermont is a leader when it comes to setting up community health care clinics and providing medical and other assistance to under-served people, the head of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration says.

"It's really a model for the nation," Dr. Mary Wakefield, the agency's administrator, said of the Vermont effort during a noontime news conference in Burlington. "It's a model in how we can provide accessible, high-quality health care that benefits people in rural and urban places across the country."

Vermont has 11 federally qualified health centers — up from just two a decade ago — that provide health care services to 160,000 Vermonters at 51 sites across the state.

Wakefield was in Vermont for a meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and directors of the health care centers. Sanders, who has championed the development of the centers nationwide, was to accompany Wakefield on a tour of centers in Burlington, Randolph and Richford later Thursday and Friday.

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