For Immediate Release - October 21, 2010

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION HIGHLIGHTS $44 MILLION GRANT TO COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS THROUGHOUT MASSACHUSETTS

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act federal funding will provide access to health care for an additional 30,000 patients and create 166 new jobs

BROCKTON - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray today highlighted a $44 million Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) federal grant awarded to eight Massachusetts community health centers across the state. Following a tour of Brockton Neighborhood Health Center's ongoing expansion project, the Lieutenant Governor joined state and local officials, as well as staff from the Center, in recognition of its individual award.

U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced PPACA federal grant awards of $727 million to 143 community health centers across the country to address immediate construction and renovation needs, and to expand access to quality health care. Among these awards, Massachusetts received $44 million directed to eight community health centers throughout the state. As a result, Massachusetts will be able to provide affordable care to more than 30,000 additional patients and create166 jobs in construction and community health care across the Commonwealth.

"The announcement of this investment by the Obama Administration in support of eight Massachusetts community health centers is welcome news," said Governor Deval Patrick. "These centers are essential parts of our health care system and the communities they serve deserve this support. Less than a year after our efforts resulted in $80 million being invested in eight other community health centers in our Commonwealth, we welcome the jobs and economic development that will come as a result of this new commitment. I congratulate each of these centers and thank Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration for its ongoing support."

"By partnering with our congressional delegation, we're pleased that health care centers across the state will receive resources to improve the quality and affordability of care while also creating immediate and permanent jobs for the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "During today's tour of the Brockton facility, I saw first-hand how these resources will support residents in the city as well as the surrounding communities in the region."

Today, Lieutenant Governor Murray met with state and local officials, as well as staff and doctors at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center to announce that the center received $11.4 million in funding. In a roundtable discussion, the group also discussed how Brockton's health center will use the funding. The Lieutenant Governor also toured the facility and saw firsthand where capital improvements will be made.

"Our community health centers are literal lifelines to the hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents who rely on them to provide high quality health care," said Senator John Kerry. "This critical funding will create jobs, expand and improve service, and help these institutions continue to serve their communities regardless of a family's ability to pay."

"I am pleased that the Lynn Community Health Care Center and the North Shore Community Health Center in Salem are among those health centers in Massachusetts that will receive funding through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to renovate and expand their facilities. Increasing the accessibility of quality care is one of the primary functions of this law, and this funding will enable health centers in my district and others across the Commonwealth to serve additional patients in need," said Representative John Tierney.

The Brockton Neighborhood Health Center will apply its award to renovating and expanding departments including, radiology, dentistry and optometry/ophthalmology, among others. Funding to Brockton's health center will also help serve an additional 17,000 patients, more than half of all new patients that will have greater access to health care as a result of these grants in Massachusetts. The Brockton Neighborhood Health Center will also expand by 26,000 square feet by summer 2012.

"This expansion of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center will provide important health care services not only to Brockton residents, but also residents from the surrounding area. This investment will bring with it improvements to our downtown area, not just in terms of construction, but by creating jobs," said Mayor Linda M. Balzotti.

"Brockton Neighborhood Health Center is honored to have Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray visit us to learn about our expansion plans in light of our $11.3 million federal Capital Development grant. This grant will enable us to add an additional 24,000 square feet to our building, which will help us serve thousands of new patients in the coming years. It is a thrill to have the opportunity to show Lieutenant Governor Murray our health center as he and Governor Patrick have been such strong supporters of services community health centers provide to Massachusetts residents throughout the state," said Sue Joss, Executive Director of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center.

"This grant exemplifies the extraordinarily positive impact of national health care reform on Massachusetts," said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. "The eight grants will support community health centers in their ability to provide access to quality care."

"This is continued good news for the great City of Brockton - a community that is working hard to provide quality local services - including health care - to its residents. Brockton Community Health Center has been an excellent resource for those in need of medical services, and I'm pleased to offer my congratulations upon it receiving this expansion grant," said Senator Thomas P. Kennedy.

In addition to the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, seven other Massachusetts centers were awarded PPACA federal funding, including: Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Inc. in Mashpee ($6 million); Great Brook Valley Health Center in Worcester ($6.4 million); Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester ($7.95 million); Outer Cape Health Services, Inc. in Wellfleet ($3.6 million); Lynn Community Health Center, Inc. in Lynn ($6.9 million); North Shore Community Health, Inc. in Salem ($750,000); and Duffy Health Center, Inc. in Hyannis ($461,991).

Community health centers throughout the nation serve nearly 19 million patients, about 40 percent of whom have no health insurance. Community health centers deliver preventive and primary care services at more than 7,900 service delivery sites around the country to patients regardless of their ability to pay; charges for services are set according to income.

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