FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2012
SCHUMER SECURES $2.7 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER OF RICHMOND ON STATEN ISLAND – INVESTMENT WILL ALLOW CENTER TO EXPAND HEALTH CARE ACCESS FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer secured $2,790,150 in federal investments for Community Health Center of Richmond (CHCR) on Staten Island. This grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Capital Development – Building Capacity Grant Program. The new funding will be used to renovate the center to increase the amount of space available for patients including building new patient exam rooms, a nurse’s station, and a patient conference/health education room. This will enable CHCR to increase access to primary care services and improve health care for Staten Island residents. This funding was included as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“This funding is a boon for Staten Island residents who will now receive higher quality health care from the Community Health Center of Richmond,” said Schumer. “Staten Island Residents deserve the highest quality health care, and with these funds, we’re making sure they’re going to get it.”
This project will increase access to comprehensive primary care, preventive and supplemental health care services, including enabling services. It will increase access to primary care services and reduce barriers to achieving optimal health for everyone, and also reduce the inappropriate use of hospital emergency rooms as a substitute for accessible primary care services. CHCR has maximized its existing medical office space, so this facility is desperately needed to eliminate health disparities in our service area.
CHCR’s proposed project includes the alteration, renovation, interior build-out, and clinic remodeling of approximately 4,250 square feet of leased medical office space within a 3-story building located in the Stapleton/St. George section of the North Shore of Staten Island. Upon completion of construction renovations, the facility will house a number of new rooms, including a patient reception area and patient waiting room, eight (8) patient care exam rooms, nurse’s station, medication room, provider offices, referral and other enabling offices, and patient conference/health education room.
CHCR is not-for-profit corporation that has served Staten Island’s low income, working poor, and medically underserved residents since July 2006. In June 2009, CHCR received full Federally Qualified Health Center (“FQHC”) status. CHCR provides access to quality primary healthcare services to Staten Island’s most vulnerable residents living in the North Shore and surrounding areas regardless of people’s ethnicity, immigration status, or ability to pay.
In New York, Community health centers provide high quality, affordable and accessible primary medical, dental and preventive care to more than 1.4 million New Yorkers at over 470 sites in urban, suburban and rural settings.
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 the centers’ ability to care for additional patients and 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) is 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.