FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2012
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES $5 MILLION INFEDERAL FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER OF BUFFALO, INC. – INVESTMENT TO RELOCATE NIAGARA FALLS HEALTH CENTER
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced a grant totaling $5 million for the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc. through a Capital Development-Building Capacity grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will be used to relocate the Community Health Center of Niagara Falls from their outdated space to a new location near Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital. This move will bring better service to residents and increase jobs in the area.
"This is just what the doctor ordered for Niagara Falls area residents and the Community Health Center of Buffalo,” said Schumer. “Funding for this new facility will not only bring more jobs to the area but increase access to essential medical services.”
The Community Health Center of Buffalo’s satellite facility, the Community Health Center of Niagara Falls, was the first Federally Qualified Community Health Center in Niagara Falls. However, the Community Health Center of Niagara Falls has outgrown their space in the Mizer building. This award will help them build a new facility near Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital so that they can expand service in the area. The new building will be a two-story 23,200 sq ft. facility and will be completed by April of 2014. It will improve access to care, quality of care, and provide a full range of primary medical services, dental services, and behavioral health services. There will be 12 new full time jobs created, 14 jobs retained, and 27 construction jobs created as a result of this project. Expansions of community health centers like this are especially important in Niagara Falls where the chronic poverty levels are well above the New York State averages.
Recent increased funding for America’s community health centers began with a $2 billion investment in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act included $11 billion in funding for community health centers. The two laws combined will help America’s community health centers to serve nearly twice as many patients as before. The newly awarded funds will support renovation and construction projects and boost a center’s ability to care for additional patients while creating jobs in those communities. Community health centers are an integral source of local employment and economic growth in many underserved and low-income communities. In 2010, they employed more than 131,000 staff and new funds made available today will help create thousands of jobs nationwide.
As part of the ACA, the Capital Development-Building Capacity (CD-BC) grants are providing approximately $600 million to existing health centers across the country for longer-term projects to expand their facilities, hire more employees and serve more patients. Health Center Program grantees requesting CD-BC funding must demonstrate how their proposal will lead to significant improvements in the health center’s capacity to address the existing and unmet needs of underserved patient populations. Health centers improve the health of the nation’s vulnerable populations and underserved communities by ensuring access to primary health care services. Currently, more than 8,100 service delivery sites around the country deliver care to nearly 20 million patients regardless of their ability to pay.
In addition to providing essential health care, community health centers also provide high-quality jobs in communities nationwide. In 2010, they employed more than 131,000 staff including 9,600 physicians, 6,400 nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and certified nurse midwives, 11,400 nurses, 9,500 dental staff, 4,200 behavioral health staff, and more than 12,000 case managers and health education, outreach, and transportation staff. Since the beginning of 2009, health centers have added more than 18,600 new full-time positions in many of the nation’s most economically distressed communities. The funding awards announced today will infuse critical dollars into health centers and their surrounding communities, enhancing health centers’ ability to serve more patients and creating thousands of jobs across the country.