DAVIS, CA – Today, Representatives Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena, CA) and John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) joined Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield in announcing a $5 million grant to CommuniCare Health Centers to expand their facilities, improve existing services, and serve more patients in Northern California. Based in Davis and serving residents of Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento counties, CommuniCare Health Centers offer comprehensive primary medical and dental services, substance abuse treatment, behavioral health services, health education, and enabling services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured area residents through five community clinic sites and outreach programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded this funding as part of a capital improvement program for community health centers across the country, which will expand access to an additional 860,000 patients. This grant was made possible through the Affordable Care Act, the health care law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined will expand access to medical services for over 32 million more Americans while reducing the deficit by $143 billion over the first decade.
"Access to health care is a fundamental right that empowers us to live happy, healthy lives and strengthens our community," said Congressman Garamendi, who served as California's Insurance Commissioner for eight years. "Community clinics provide health services - ranging from prenatal care to chronic disease management and mental health care - that make this right a reality."
As a California legislator, Garamendi authored a law, the Rural Health Services Act of 1976, which expanded community clinics in unserved and underserved areas and provided health care for hundreds of thousands Californians.
Garamendi added, "This HHS grant will allow CommuniCare to serve even more Northern California residents and the construction jobs from this planned expansion will provide a boost to our local economy. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, residents in Yolo, Solano, and beyond have a lot of reason to celebrate today."
"Community health centers are a critical component to the accessibility of quality and affordable health care," said Congressman Thompson. "These funds, which were made possible through the Affordable Care Act, will improve health care and support local jobs for folks across our communities."
"We were so excited to find out that CommuniCare Health Centers received a $ 5 million grant to help us build a new facility in Woodland, CA," said Robin Affirme, CEO of CommuniCare Health Centers. "We will now be able to move forward with our vision to consolidate all of the services we provide currently in two outdated sites into one larger site and estimate that we will be able to serve over 2,000 additional patients in the first year of the new health center. We are shovel ready and expect to meet our time line of moving into the new site by May of 2013. This is great news!"
"President Obama's health care law is making our community health centers stronger," said Dr. Wakefield. "For many Americans, community health centers are the major source of care that ranges from prevention to treatment of chronic diseases. This investment will expand our ability to provide high-quality care to millions of people while supporting good paying jobs in communities across the country."