Menendez Kicks-Off National Health Center Week
Annual “Children’s Health Day” events to be held in Bridgeton, Camden
August 6, 2012
Plainfield – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today kicked-off National Health Center Week with the New Jersey Primary Care Association at Neighborhood Health Services in Plainfield. Menendez was joined by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., Dennis E. González of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Gloria Rodriquez of the New Jersey Department of Health, and other community officials and members to recognize the services and contributions of our nation’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). New Jersey has 20 FQHCs, and many satellite offices, that provide quality, affordable health care to more than 450,000 medically vulnerable and underserved New Jerseyans.
“This year’s theme ‘Powering Healthier Communities’ could not be more fitting. Community health centers are often the only health care option for New Jersey families and they are the backbone of our health care system. And this week we recognize their important, invaluable contributions,” said Menendez.
“This week we should also recognize the critical contributions of the new health care law. Thanks to federal funding under the Affordable Care Act, our State’s community health centers are some of the best in the nation. And I will continue fighting for investments in New Jersey’s community health centers that will pay back significant returns in increased access to care, expansion of health care jobs, and improved health for everyone.”
Senator Menendez, who received the 2012 Distinguished Community Health Champion award, authored an amendment to the Affordable Care Act (included in the final law) to help ensure FQHCs do not lose revenue when treating newly insured patients gaining coverage through the new health insurance exchanges.
In New Jersey, the Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act together have provided more than $66.2 million in funding for the State’s health centers to expand their operational capacity. These investments are already making returns beyond improving access to quality care; the National Association of Community Health Centers estimates that community health centers in New Jersey generated nearly $400 million in economic benefit in 2009 alone.
In recognition of National Health Center week, Senator Menendez will be hosting his “Children’s Health Days” at FQHCs in Bridgeton and Camden. Immunizations and screenings will be provided to uninsured and underinsured children to prepare for back-to-school time. Staff will also be available on site to answer questions or provide assistance to constituents. For more information, visit: www.menendez.senate.gov/nj/events/
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