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Major Expansion Of Rockland’s Refuah Health Center With $2 Million; Center Will Expand & Enhance Care For Lower Hudson Valley Women With Comprehensive Health Services Under One Roof For Underserved Patients 

Schumer, Jones: It Is Time To Put Rockland Women First And Get Them The Access To Healthcare They Need & Deserve 

Standing with Rockland women at the conclusion of Women’s History Month, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Representative Mondaire Jones today announced that following their advocacy they have secured $2 million for the Refuah Health Center in Spring Valley to build a Center of Excellence for Women's Health. The lawmakers explained this new facility will fill a major gap in coverage for affordable healthcare for Rockland County women, especially for marginalized and underserved populations, and will create 17 good paying healthcare jobs.  Thanks to the funding championed by Senator Schumer and Rep. Jones, Rockland County woman and moms will finally have full service location and local options for critical health services like mammography, a birthing center, expanded midwife programs, mental health services, infertility treatment and out-patient gynecological surgery for women across the Hudson Valley.

“Today is a great day for the women of Rockland County who will now have a one-stop place to go in Spring Valley for the services they need like mammography, a birthing center, midwife programs, mental health services, infertility treatment and out-patient gynecological surgery. This $2 million in federal funding puts Rockland women first and will finally give them the state of the art comprehensive affordable healthcare facility they need and deserve,” said Senator Schumer. “With this critical backing I secured with Congressman Jones, Refuah Health will be able to bolster the life changing work that they do like never before. This means new healthcare jobs, better care for Rockland moms and families, and most importantly better access to care for all woman across the Lower Hudson Valley.”

Congressman Mondaire Jones said, “Refuah has shown what’s possible when we make holistic, high-quality, whole-patient care not a privilege reserved for the wealthy, but a fundamental human right available to everyone. I’m proud to have secured the $2 million needed to create Refuah's Center of Excellence for Women’s Health -- critical funding for a project I know will have a profoundly positive impact on our community. Refuah has a proven record of providing comprehensive, holistic care to people of all backgrounds -- including the uninsured and underinsured. I know Refuah will use this funding to keep people throughout the Lower Hudson Valley safe and healthy.”

Chanie Sternberg, President and CEO of Refuah Health  said, "Refuah Health is extraordinarily grateful to Senator Schumer and Representative Jones for their commitment to and work on behalf of Rockland County women and families. Over 15% of Rockland County women experience infertility challenges in their lifetime. In fact, local women and families are more likely to struggle with infertility than women across New York State and throughout the nation. Refuah Health's goal is to ensure and protect health equity by making the Center of Excellence for Women's Health a place where our Members not only get top notch care but also compassionate care that makes them feel safe and welcome regardless of cultural background or socio-economic status. To have our elected officials join in our mission sends a positive and promising message to New York women and families."

Refuah Health is a federally-qualified health center (FQHC) headquartered in Rockland County. As an FQHC, it is accessible to patients regardless of ability to pay meaning no patient is ever turned away because they cannot afford care. Over 80% of its patients are covered by Medicaid. The representatives said that funding for facilities like the one in Spring Valley is especially important for historically marginalized populations, especially women of color and women of lower socio-economic status, who face heightened barriers to care. Currently, there are severely limited local options for infertility services in Rockland County, which forces many women to travel to New York City and New Jersey for treatment. Refuah Health is already one of the largest providers of outpatient women's health services in Rockland County, and now with today’s funding they can expand their services even further to help a wider array of patients.

Specifically, the Schumer-Jones secured funding that will create the new state-of-the-art Center of Excellence for Women's Health in Spring Valley. This will allow Refuah Health to construct this 10,000 square foot facility dedicated to the provision of accessible, high-quality, affordable healthcare for women, with a particular focus on infertility services for underserved women facing health disparities. The Center of Excellence will provide comprehensive OB/GYN services to underserved women and their families, offering treatment and counseling in a local, caring, and comprehensive environment. The Center will also house comprehensive women's health services, mental health services, imaging, and GYN out-patient surgery. Bringing all of these services together under one roof, in a patient-centered location, will enhance Refuah's existing capabilities as an FQHC and allow the Center to reach the underserved women of Rockland County. Refuah is one of the largest providers of outpatient women's health services in Rockland County and in 2021, the Center's team of OB/GYNs and midwives delivered 1,769 babies.

Schumer and Jones also said that they made sure that the federal budget bill funding this new women’s health center also included critical legislation like the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act and the Rural MOMS Act. These foundational bills authorize and improve programs to address the maternal mortality crisis. These bills will support states, tribes and local governments and other entities who are working to improve maternal health, support new grant programs to provide training to address racial and ethnic bias in the provision of maternal health care, improve rural maternal and obstetric care data, award new rural obstetric network grants, and establish a new rural maternal and obstetric care training demonstration program.

Senator Schumer and Rep. Jones were joined by Chanie Sternberg, President and CEO of Refuah Health, Yola Moise, Director of Operations for Konbit Neg Lakay Inc,, and Catherine Cano, Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) at Refuah.