Congresswoman Lori Trahan Announces $18.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding for MA-03 Community Health Centers
Washington, March 30, 2021
LOWELL, MA – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, announced $18,573,500 in federal relief funding through the American Rescue Plan for community health centers in Lawrence, Lowell, and Fitchburg.
“When I cast my vote for the American Rescue Plan, I did it knowing that the relief in this package would help get more shots into more arms and ensure that no one is left behind as we recover from this pandemic,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “Today’s investments in our incredible health centers show why this package is so vital, especially to those in our communities who are traditionally underserved and vaccine hesitant. Our health centers have been the glue holding our pandemic response and vaccine distribution efforts together across the Third District and the Commonwealth, and I couldn’t be prouder to announce this funding to further enhance their heroic efforts.”
Specific allocations are as follows:
“Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) is excited to be included in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and appreciates the work done by Congresswoman Lori Trahan and her team on behalf of all Community Health Centers, ensuring increased support and funding is directed to our highest risk communities. This funding will go a long way to support our mission of providing access to high quality health care throughout the Valley as well as providing the resources and training our staff needs to continue addressing the health disparities our patients and community face every day. GLFHC is equally grateful that the persistent advocacy done in collaboration with the Congresswoman has resulted in the national Teaching Health Center (THC) program, including our Lawrence Family Medicine Residency (LFMR), receiving guaranteed increased funding for the next 3 years. Our continued ability to train primary care physicians in community settings is an essential part of the national effort to increase the numbers of primary care physicians practicing in poor, urban, rural and other underserved areas,” said Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Inc. President and CEO John Silva.
“What an incredible vote of confidence in and transformational opportunity for our nation’s health centers. This is not only a recognition of the vital place federally qualified health centers hold in our nation’s health care system. It is also an acknowledgment of how we have adapted and responded under trying conditions to assure equitable access to testing, treatment and vaccine throughout this pandemic. We are grateful for this investment, which will serve as a catalyst for strengthening and positioning our health centers to confront the health needs of our community as the longer-term effects of this pandemic unfold,” said Lowell Community Health Center CEO Susan West Levine.
“Community Health Connections is extremely grateful for the continuing support and recognition that we have received from all levels of government. This financial support will enable us to significantly increase access to services for our patients and the entire community. There is much to be done and this funding will ensure that we are able to meet the challenges,” said Community Health Connections, Inc. President and CEO John DeMalia.
The funds, which will be awarded beginning in April by the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be able to be used by the health centers to support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver needed preventive and primary health care services to those at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units. This investment will help increase access to vaccinations among hard-hit populations, as well as confidence in the vaccine by empowering local, trusted health professionals in their efforts to expand vaccinations.
“Every American should have the security of knowing they have access to quality, affordable health care, especially as we face a pandemic that has exposed the disparities facing rural, minority, and lower-income communities,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden Administration is committed to getting help to those who need it most, and the communities hit hardest by COVID-19 will benefit from these critical investments.”
In addition to this robust investment in these health centers, participants in President Biden’s Community Health Center Vaccination Program, which include Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and Lowell Community Health Center, have been invited to expand eligibility to populations in the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s (ACIP’s) 1C eligibility tier. That includes frontline essential workers and all persons 16 years and older with high-risk medical conditions. This means approximately 83% of the adults seen at Community Health Centers participating in the federal Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program will now be eligible for vaccinations.
The American Rescue Plan put forward by President Biden and supported by Trahan included $7.6 billion funding to further support COVID-19 response efforts at community health centers. This was part of a $27 billion allocation in the package designed to address health disparities and protect vulnerable populations for the duration of the pandemic. Trahan also recently hailed the inclusion of both the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and Lowell Community Health Center in President Biden’s Community Health Center Vaccination Program.