Menendez Receives Champion Award for Work in Support of Community Health Care Centers

Menendez Receives Champion Award for Work in Support of Community Health Care Centers

Washington - On the eve of the Affordable Care Act's second anniversary, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today received the Distinguished Community Health Champion Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). New Jersey is home to 20 Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) operating more than 120 sites, with more than a million patient visits a year and providing a range of vital primary care services including obstetrics, pediatrics, dental and pharmacy services.

"I am honored to receive this recognition, especially since it is coming from an organization of health care champions who work hard every day to provide care for anyone who comes through their doors," said Menendez. "I know how critical community health centers are to New Jersey families and communities. Without their dedicated service to our communities, countless people would go without the care they need. That's why I fought to ensure they receive the financial support they need to continue their invaluable work on behalf of New Jerseyans."

Menendez worked to include an important provision in the Affordable Care Act which ensures that community health centers are reimbursed by private insurers for valuable services they provide to individuals enrolled in an insurance plan through a new health insurance exchange. That means these health centers will have the resources they need to treat newly insured patients gaining coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

President and CEO of the New Jersey Primary Care Association, a membership organization of health centers dedicated to advocating on behalf of the medically underserved, Katherine Grant-Davis, said: "Senator Menendez is a true champion for every community health center in New Jersey as well as for every center in the United States. He has never swayed from his resolve to ensure that community health centers are fiscally solvent. He knows that they are part of the solution to this country's health care needs. On behalf of all community health centers, we thank him for his tireless events!"

"We deeply appreciate the extraordinary leadership and work of Senator Menendez," said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of NACHC. Senator Menendez remains a tireless champion for health centers. This year, he continued his efforts to ensure that health centers and their patients will have a place in a reformed health system. We look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure expanded access to high quality health care for New Jerseyans and improved health for the millions of Americans who rely on health centers for their care - including the 60 million Americans who currently have no access to care."

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, health centers in New Jersey have been provided with $31.4 million in funding to expand operations in medically underserved areas, improve existing facilities and help increase access to needy populations.