Rockland County, NY – Congressman Eliot Engel announced that the Refuah Health Center and Community Medical and Dental Care were each awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from money made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Refuah Health Center received a $304,032 grant and Community Medical and Dental Care received $268,523.
Rep. Engel said, “This money will not only help the people of the Spring Valley and Monsey area to receive better health care, it will also help our country’s economic health in recovering from our deepening recession.
Rep. Engel is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health. On Thursday, he was awarded the National Association of Community Health Centers — 2009 Distinguished Community Health Superhero Award – – at a meeting with the NACHC in his Washington office. At the ceremony was Chanie Sternberg, Executive Director of the Refuah Health Center. Two weeks ago, Congressman Engel met with Community Medical and Dental Care CEO Mendel Hoffman, and his associate, Daniel Friedman in his Washington office.
The money is part of a total package of $338 million to expand services offered at community health centers nationwide.
The 11-term Congressman said Health Centers are community-run services open to all regardless of their ability to pay. “At a time when health care costs have dramatically increased across the country,” he said, “health centers have kept their costs well under those of other health care providers. In addition, research has shown that health centers actually save the health system money, and that their patients see better results and fewer hospital emergency rooms.”
Congressman Engel signed onto a letter to the House Appropriations Committee asking it to include $2.602 billion for the Health Centers program plan in the FY 2010 budget. Health Centers, he said, now treat more than 18 million Americans with scores more high-quality applications for health centers than funding available.
“We must continue to support and expand existing health centers,” Rep. Engel said, “and develop new centers in areas of need. This FY 2010 funding request is an investment in a longer-term plan envisioned by the Health Care Safety Net Act to provide care in a health center to 30 million Americans by 2015.”