In his role as Immediate Past-Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), North End Waterfront Health (NEW Health) CEO, Jim Luisi, has been meeting with top presidential candidates in Washington to appeal to them to extend federal funding for health centers across the country.
Health Center funding is part of the Federal budget, which ended on September 30 of this year as Congress failed to approve a new deal. A two-month extension was approved to keep health center’s open through November, but that new deadline is fast approaching without a longterm solution.
Luisi has had meetings with candidates including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg to explain the important role that community health centers play in our health care system and encourage them to support future funding. He plans to meet with other candidates in the near future. Federal funding accounts for approximately 15 percent of health center revenue; NEW Health receives $3 million per year.
Community Health Centers serve 30 million Americans and are supported by both Democrats and Republicans. If Congress can pass the funding bill, President Trump has said he would sign it, as he did two years earlier.
Patients and community members are encouraged to sign up as health center advocates and join the effort to keep health centers protected. Anyone interested can do so on the NACHC advocacy website, or by writing United State Senators Markey and Warren, or Massachusetts members of Congress.