WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $2.7 million to 10 community health centers throughout Vermont. The health centers will use this new federal funding to offer more than 3,700 additional Vermonters low-cost prescription drugs and medical, dental and mental health care services.
The Vermont awards are part of nearly $500 million in new funding announced today by HHS for community health centers across the United States. The funds will provide health care services for 1.4 million new patients nationally. The funds were authorized by a Sanders provision in the Affordable Care Act that made available $11 billion for community health centers.
“As the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health, I am proud we continue to see significant increases in the number of patients accessing health care at community health centers in Vermont and around the country,” Sanders said. “I am pleased to see Vermont receive these much-needed awards, which will allow our community health centers to serve even more Vermonters who today lack adequate access to affordable healthcare.”
This year, community 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 provide comprehensive primary health care services on a sliding fee scale and low-cost prescription drugs to patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, as well as those who have no insurance.
“Although I am very pleased to see today’s announcement, millions of people across the country still do not have access to the primary care they need,” Sanders said. “Congress must continue to protect and expand the health center program to ensure access to care in communities still in desperate need of health care services.”
The following Vermont health centers received awards today:
• Battenkill Valley Health Center, Arlington, $242,120
• Community Health Center of Burlington, $278,622
• Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region, Bomoseen, $308,736
• Five-Town Health Alliance, Bristol, $243,418
• Gifford Health Care, Randolph, $272,950
• Little Rivers Health Care, Bradford, $250,668
• Northeast Washington County Community Health, Plainfield, $256,206
• Northern Counties Health Care, St. Johnsbury, $277,626
• Richford Health Center, Richford, $266,942
• Springfield Medical Care System, Springfield, $293,300
Last month, Sanders announced Vermont’s community health centers received $493,860, in recognition of their achievements in providing high quality health care to Vermonters.