October 13, 2010

RI Delegation Announces $4 Million to Improve and Expand Newport, Cranston Community Health Centers

CRANSTON, RI – In an effort to address pressing renovation needs in Community Health Centers, and expand access to quality health care, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and U.S. Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) today announced over $4 million in federal funding to construct a new building in Newport and renovate an existing health facility in Cranston. The funds are provided by the comprehensive health insurance reform law, which was supported by all four members of the Congressional delegation.

East Bay Community Action Program will receive nearly $3 million to construct a new facility in Newport and Comprehensive Community Action (CCAP) will receive over $1 million to complete important improvements to their site in Cranston.

“Our community health centers are at the very heart of health reform and these federal funds will help them expand and improve the quality of care that thousands of Rhode Islanders depend on each day. This is a down payment on helping our community health centers to build, renovate, and expand. In addition to serving more patients, this funding will also help create more jobs for local contractors and construction workers,” said Reed, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

“Community health centers provide vital health services, especially during these tough economic times when many Rhode Islanders lack health insurance. This federal funding from the Affordable Care Act will help our community health centers create jobs and provide more Rhode Islanders with access to care,” said Whitehouse.

“Community health centers play a vital role in our nation’s health care system, providing preventive and primary health care for the uninsured and underinsured,” said Kennedy. “The expanded capacity made possible through this funding means more Rhode Islanders will have access to these critical health services.”

“Community health centers in our state fulfill an important need for so many families,” said Langevin. “This funding will continue helping our close-knit network of centers expand and improve care. I look forward to learning more about the various construction projects.”

In 2007, the health centers in Rhode Island served over 106,000 patients. In 2009, over 120,000 patients were served. The number of patients seen at community health centers continues to increase, and approximately 30 percent of their patients lack insurance.

Last week, CCAP acquired the building it previously had been leasing in Cranston. This federal funding will allow CCAP to make much needed renovations and facility upgrades to better serve the community.

East Bay serves 10 cities and towns in the state – over 42,000 individuals. But the Newport site currently only has 5 exam rooms. The $3 million in federal funding to East Bay will help with the construction of a new facility – in the North End – with an additional 3 exam rooms.

“Community health centers play an integral role in providing health care coverage and important services for Rhode Islanders most in need. The funding provided by the federal health reform law for expanding these centers is just one example of the many opportunities that exists in this law to benefit Rhode Islanders,” said Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts.

“This receipt of almost $3 million through the Health Care Reform Act will transform our ability to deliver quality, comprehensive primary health care services to Newport County residents. East Bay Community Action Program needed to dramatically upgrade its facilities to meet the demand for services that newly insured Rhode Islanders will have for primary health care through the Act and this new facility will make that difference. Our congressional delegation has been at the forefront in the effort to provide health care coverage to more Americans and we are grateful for their efforts,” said Dennis Roy, Chief Executive Officer of East Bay Community Action Program.

“Being awarded this Facility Improvement grant is the difference between giving our clients an adequate health care home and giving them a state of the art facility. We are so pleased to be able to make the necessary improvements to our facilities to ensure that CCAP Family Health Services can address all the needs of all of our consumers. Words fail to express our thanks to Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Kennedy, and Congressman Langevin, who continue to support our work and mission. Without their efforts, none of this would be possible,” said Joanne McGunagle, Executive Director of Comprehensive Community Action.

Across the country, community health centers serve nearly 19 million patients, about 40 percent of whom have no health insurance, and deliver preventive and primary care services to more than 7,900 service delivery sites around the country to patients regardless of their ability to pay.


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