The Battenkill Valley Health Center, in Arlington, has been awarded $1,000,000 in funding, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on Wednesday.
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $5.5 million to six community health centers in Vermont. The health centers will use this new federal funding to renovate facilities, increase patient capacity and expand primary care services. The Vermont awards are part of $260 million in health infrastructure funding announced today for 290 community health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to a press release from Sanders.
The Battenkill Valley Health Center Inc. is located at 9 Church St. It opened on Feb. 27, 2014. Announcing the award on its Facebook page, the Center wrote, "Battenkill Valley Health Center is beyond proud to be one of the 290 recipients! Big things are on the horizon — stay tuned!"
The funding comes from the Health Center Trust Fund, which was created by a Sanders provision in the Affordable Care Act that provides $11 billion for community health centers across the United States. Congress extended the Sanders provision last year with bipartisan support.
"I am proud that we continue to see significant increases in the number of patients accessing health care at community health centers in Vermont and around the country," said Sanders, in the press release. "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 health care."
Sanders serves as the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health.
In 2006, fewer than 10 percent of Vermont residents received their health care at Federally Qualified Health Centers. This year, roughly 1 in 4 Vermonters, more than 150,000 people, will receive affordable primary medical, oral and mental health care services and low-cost prescription drugs at more than 50 sites across the state.
"Although I am very pleased with today's announcement, millions of Americans still do not have access to the primary and oral health care they need," Sanders said in the release. "Congress must continue to protect and expand community health centers to ensure people in Vermont and throughout the United States have access to health care."
The following Vermont health centers received awards:·Battenkill Valley Health Center, Arlington: $1,000,000; Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region: $752,502; Copley Professional Services Group, Morrisville: $1,000,000; Little Rivers Health Care, Bradford: $999,928; Richford Health Center: $724,780; Springfield Medical Care Systems: $1,000,000.