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Health Center Funding Cliff Fixed09-Feb-2018
A message from NACHC's President & CEO, Tom Van Coverden:
After months of hard work and unrelenting advocacy, Health Centers secured a great victory [February 9th] when Congress passed legislation to fix the Health Center funding cliff. Health Centers can now count on two years of extended funding, including $600 million additional dollars to further support Health Center operations and address unmet need in communities across the nation. In addition to the Health Center Program, the National Health Service Corps and the Teaching Health Centers Program also received two years of additional funding, securing vital resources to support the Health Center workforce and enable Health Centers to continue caring for their communities.
This week’s Congressional action to fix the cliff is a victory for all Health Centers, and more importantly, for the 27 million patients Health Centers serve. What drove Congress to act this week was the incredible and persistent advocacy from YOU, alongside tens of thousands of your fellow Health Center Advocates over the course of many months. Collectively, Health Center Advocates sent more than 225,000 emails, placed more than 35,000 phone calls, posted close to 15,000 messages on social media and held hundreds of in-person meetings with their Members of Congress and Congressional Staff. This remarkable showing of advocacy – the passion, dedication and collective power of the Health Center voice – is what compelled Congress to ACT to fix the funding cliff.
With uncertainty around Health Center funding now put to rest, Health Centers can return to focusing solely on what they do best – caring for their patients and communities. This week’s Congressional action provides us an opportunity to continue building on our success by highlighting the countless ways in which the Health Center model can, and already does, serve as a solution to so many of the challenges we face in our healthcare system. Indeed, our work as Health Centers, and as Advocates, is far from over as we continue to lead the nation in driving access to high quality, affordable healthcare for all those in need.
While our job as Advocates is never truly over – today is about gratitude and celebration of a hard fought victory. You should be extremely proud of what your consistent action and committed engagement has meant to America’s Health Centers and the 27 million patients they serve. It is because of you, and your advocacy, that today we can let go of months of uncertainty and focus instead on what truly matters – fulfilling the Health Center mission in caring for our patients and communities.
Thank you for your incredible commitment and your action to carry us to this victory – my appreciation for you and your advocacy cannot be overstated.
Tom Van Coverden
NACHC President & CEO