Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Richard E. Neal (D-MA-01), James P. McGovern (D-MA-02), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA-08), William Keating (D-MA-09), Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA-04), Seth Moulton (D-MA-06), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07) and Lori Trahan (D-MA-03), today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded community health centers (CHC) in Massachusetts over $36.5 million to assist in combating the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding was awarded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Last month, Senator Warren and Congresswoman Pressley led 165 lawmakers in calling on House and Senate leadership to dramatically increase long-term funding for community health centers in the third coronavirus legislative package.
"Community health centers in Massachusetts and across the country serve the most vulnerable among us and are on the front lines of this public health emergency," said Senator Warren. "While this new funding will help our CHCs as they confront this pandemic, I'll keep fighting to ensure that they have the resources and equipment they need to continue testing and caring for patients during this unprecedented crisis."
"For many Americans, community health centers are their only access point for health care," said Senator Markey. "This funding will ensure that as we combat this viral enemy, our Massachusetts community health centers remain an integral component of our social safety net. I will continue to push for the next round of economic relief to include additional funding for community health centers so that they can care for patients during this health emergency."
"Community health centers are imperative to our region's health and well-being, but when facing a pandemic, they become even more important," said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal. "With major stress on our healthcare system, our community health centers are more indispensable than ever. As an author of the CARES Act, I was able to work with my colleagues to ensure that the funding would be there to keep health centers running while hospitals are managing the worst COVID-19 cases."
"Thousands of families in Central and Western Massachusetts trust community health centers to give them the care they need," said Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern. "This is great news, and I'm proud of our delegation's work to secure this funding, but there is much more work to be done. As we continue to hear about how vulnerable communities are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, we need to make sure those on the front lines at community health centers have the tools they need to provide high-quality care to everyone - no matter their zip code, citizenship status, income, ethnicity, or gender."
"I've met and spoken with many of our amazing Community Health Center leaders and providers during this pandemic and I am grateful for their passionate and courageous service to the most vulnerable in our society - especially under such difficult circumstances." said Rep. Lynch. "I am thankful for this critical federal funding and am confident these grants will help advance efforts to provide care during this COVID-19 crisis while protecting the health and safety of our healthcare workers."
"Funding for our community health centers was a priority while crafting this legislation," said Congressman Bill Keating. "The residents of Cape Cod, the Islands, and Greater New Bedford and Fall River know better than anyone that Community Health Centers provide vital access to quality healthcare services. As the primary care providers for thousands of families in Southeastern Massachusetts, it is important to ensure that they are able to continue to provide services during this pandemic."
"Community health centers aren't just at the frontlines protecting our communities from COVID-19, they are leading our fight to overcome systemic inequities throughout our health care system.," said Congressman Kennedy. "Although this funding will help protect vulnerable patients and providers, Congress and this Administration need to meet the demands of chronically underfunded CHCs around the country as they work tirelessly to save lives in our communities."
"Health care workers are on the front line, and local clinics are maxing out their reserve funds to respond to the coronavirus. These grants will help health clinics meet the moment and keep us safe," Rep. Seth Moulton said. "There are still far too many people lacking protective equipment and tools that keep people alive like respirators. I'm going to keep fighting for the heroes in our community saving lives and so every American can get tested and treated for the coronavirus."
"The COVID-19 crisis has placed unprecedented strains on our nation's Community Health Centers facilities as they provide critical medical care for over 29 million low-income people across the nation," said Congresswoman Pressley. "The Massachusetts 7th Congressional District is home to the largest concentration of Community Health Centers with 15 federally qualified health centers that serve 1 in 3 residents in my district. Though the CARES Act secured emergency funding for our nation's CHCs, we must do so much more to ensure that these facilities have the resources they need to support our most vulnerable communities now and in the future."
"Now, more than ever, we are all leaning heavily on our community health centers to provide quality care. I am thankful for the brave men and women who are fighting this global pandemic on the front lines. I am proud to announce these additional funds will go towards supporting community health center workers and towards the people in our cities and towns who rely upon these hospitals," said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.
HHS awarded grants to the following community health centers: