BURLINGTON, Vt., March 11 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders today announced the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $1,240,794 to four community health centers in Vermont. The health centers will use this new federal funding to expand access to substance abuse treatment.
The Vermont awards are part of $94 million to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services announced today by HHS for 271 community health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The funds were authorized by a Sanders provision in the Affordable Care Act that provided $11 billion in funding for community health centers across the country.
“The opioid abuse epidemic is a tragedy in Vermont and all across the country. These much-needed awards will allow our community health centers to serve even more people who desperately need access to services and treatment for addiction,” said Sanders, who serves as the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health. “I am pleased to see significant increases in the number of patients accessing health care at community health centers.”
This year, Federally Qualified Health Centers in Vermont will serve one in four Vermonters at more than 50 sites across the state. In 2006, fewer than 10 percent of Vermont residents received their health care at community health centers. Health centers deliver primary medical, oral and mental health care services on a sliding fee scale. They also provide low-cost prescription drugs to patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, as well as those without insurance.
“Although I am very pleased with today’s announcement, millions of Americans still do not have access to the primary care and substance abuse treatment they need,” Sanders said. “Congress must continue to protect and expand community health centers to ensure people in Vermont and throughout the United States have access to health care.”
The following Vermont health centers received awards today:
- Community Health Centers of Burlington, Burlington, $243,815
- Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region, Rutland, $325,000
- Gifford Health Care, Randolph, $325,000
- Northern Counties Health Care, Saint Johnsbury, $346,979
To see the announcement from HHS, click here.