BURLINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders today announced 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. 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, who serves as the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health. "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."
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. "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 today:
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