Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS Urges Funding of Nation’s Community Health Centers

MMS Urges Funding of Nation’s Community Health Centers

Henry L. Dorkin, MD, FAAP, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, released the following statement regarding the funding of the nation’s community health centers:

“Although we are pleased that the families of 9 million children across the country who receive health coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program now have peace of mind, we are disappointed that the nation’s community health centers (CHCs) remain unfunded since September. CHCs are facing devastating budget cuts, which could lead to the closure of thousands of health center sites nationwide. Here in Massachusetts, 50 community health centers, which serve nearly one million patients each year, are in jeopardy.

“Community health centers provide comprehensive care to patients regardless of their insurance coverage status, bringing affordable health care to those who need it. Such centers also play an important role in saving lives and providing rehabilitation and treatment during the current opioid crisis. Moreover, CHCs also help connect patients with services – like wellness programs, food services, and housing assistance – that help give patients the tools they need to overcome adverse social determinants of health and create a foundation for their families’ well-being.

“By providing level discretionary funding and by extending the Health Centers Fund, Congress could maintain needed stability at health centers – essential safety nets that meet the needs of communities across the Commonwealth.

“Without reliable funding, community health centers are unable to expand staff, move forward on developing new services, or invest in their communities’ futures.

“Although our primary concern is about patient access to quality care, we also note that community health centers employ roughly 12,000 workers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including physicians. These doctors and their staffs are committed to treating their patients – including many of the most vulnerable of our communities – with compassion and excellence. Their ability to do so should not be held hostage by a lack of funding at the federal level.”

In this video produced by the Massachusetts Medical Society, Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, CEO of the The Dimock Center, explains how federal funding has helped her community health center expand to provide more services to patients.

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