U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, both Democrats, announced on Wednesday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $3,207,779 in grants to aid the continued operation of federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) within New Jersey.

Camcare Health Corp. was awarded a grant of $1,735,627 and the City of Newark a $1,472,152 grant.

In New Jersey, there are 24 Community Health Centers (CHC’s) that operate 136 satellite sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to over a half-million New Jersey residents.

“Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans of every age, race, and gender rely on their local community health centers to access affordable health care. They provide vital services to those who may not otherwise afford or have access to it. Affordable health care should be a right for all, not just a privilege for the wealthy,” said Menendez who is a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy“This federal funding will help our local FQHCs deliver high-quality health care for New Jersey residents.”

Booker, the former mayor of Newark, said he knows the obstacles some of New Jersey’s vulnerable families face in accessing health care.

“By supporting New Jersey’s federally qualified health centers, these funds will help address these health inequities by bringing high quality, affordable health care services into some of our most underserved communities,” Booker said. “Now more than ever, it’s imperative we remain committed to protecting federal funding for FQHCs in order to fill service gaps and help those most in need.”

Menendez authored a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires private insurance plans on the exchange to fully reimburse FQHCs at no less than the same rate as Medicaid in order to ensure the economic vitality of community health centers and properly recognize them for the valuable role they play in the American health care system.