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Low-Income And At-Risk Buffalo Residents Face Health Care Access Issues, A Lack of Transportation & Language Barriers Prevent Some Western New Yorkers From Receiving Quality Care  

Schumer to HHS: Federal Designation Critical For Jericho Roads To Continue Providing Outstanding Care 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to approve Jericho Road Community Health Center’s application for the continued designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Schumer explained that this FQHC designation would allow the center to continue to receive critical federal funding needed to provide care to Buffalo’s refugee and low-income community. Schumer said the FHQC designation for Community Health Centers increases the access and quality of primary health services to vulnerable and underserved populations within the Buffalo community.

“When it comes to health care, the bottom line is that quality preventative care save tons of money over time. For many Buffalo residents, Jericho Road Community Health Center is a key source of source of affordable, quality primary care. This federal designation would allow the center to continue providing access to comprehensive care and a wide range of services for the community’s most vulnerable. I am urging the Department of Health and Human Services to continue Jericho Road’s designation, as it will provide critical funding needed to serve the community,” said Schumer.

Schumer said high insurance premiums, unavailable transportation, and the shortage of medical facilities accepting Medicaid has made it difficult for low-income Buffalo residents to find close, affordable primary care. In addition, the diverse nature of the Buffalo refugee and immigrant community means significant language barriers exist that may prevent residents from effectively communicating with medical providers. Jericho Road Community Health Center has managed to tackle these issues by providing quality, comprehensive primary care to residents while bridging language barriers. Schumer said the center has continuously demonstrated a cost-effective approach that ensures patients are not burdened with excessive financial costs. As a result, Schumer said this center deserves to have their federal FQHC designation continued, so it can continue to care for its patients, and potentially serve even more residents in the Buffalo area.

Jericho Road Community Health Center has been providing care to Buffalo residents since 1997. The original site on Barton Street in Buffalo’s West Side neighborhood has now grown to include two sites with twelve medical providers, seeing over 40,000 patient visits per year. In order to continue providing quality care for their patients, Jericho Road submitted an application to HHS requesting a continuation of their Federally Qualified Health Center designation, under the current Health Resources Service Administration Service Area Competition. If approved, the Center will continue to receive federal funds to care for Buffalo’s most vulnerable residents.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to HHS appears below:

Dear Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell,

We write in support of the application submitted by Jericho Road Community Health Center for continued designation and growth as a Federally Qualified Health Center, under the current Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) Service Area Competition.

We fought hard to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the 111th Congress, establishing expanded funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers that place emphasis on providing care for underserved and at-risk communities.  Jericho Road is a model healthcare provider that has demonstrated both its commitment and capacity to provide excellent primary care medical services to the incredibly diverse, underserved population of refugees and low-income community members in Buffalo.

Families living in poverty in Buffalo face major barriers in access to primary care and community supports.  The barriers include lack of transportation, high insurance premiums, few adequate medical facilities accepting Medicaid or uninsured patients, and lack of education about health-related issues.  Cultural and language barriers further isolate refugees in a city that is now the largest refugee resettlement site in New York State.  Without a medical home, these families often face preventable crises at higher personal and financial cost.  Each of these community members deserves access to primary medical care as a basic human right.

Through innovative methods and strategic partnerships to address both the physical and social determinants of health, Jericho Road Community Health Center demonstrates a cost-effective approach to providing an excellent standard of medical care.  We ask that you please give this application your full consideration.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact any of our staff members. 


Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator