Congresswoman Lori Trahan announces $2.7M for 3 CHCs
Congresswoman Lori Trahan (Massachusetts 3rd Congressional District), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, announced $2,770,654 in federal relief funding from the American Rescue Plan for community health centers in Lawrence, Lowell, and Fitchburg.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven just how critical community health centers in Lawrence, Lowell, and Fitchburg are to ensuring positive health outcomes, especially for the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “Health care workers at these facilities have been working around the clock to maintain a high level of service for the patients they serve. The efforts of these health centers to ensure that the quality of their facilities reflects their incredible work is important. That’s why we included federal investments in the American Rescue Plan to bolster their modernization efforts. I’m proud to announce this tranche of relief funding that will further strengthen their ability to support the hardworking folks who need their services most.”
Specific allocations are as follows:
- Greater Lawrence Family Health Center: $1,118,970
- Lowell Community Health Center: $879,500
- Community Health Connections, Inc. in Fitchburg: $772,184
“Greater Lawrence Family Health Center is grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration, and of course Congresswoman Trahan for this award through the Office of Health and Human Services,” said Dr. Guy Fish, President and CEO of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. “With these American Rescue Plan Capital Construction dollars, GLFHC will be able to expand access to primary care, behavioral health, and pharmacy services, and to add new services, facilities, and partnerships to lift the health of our patients and community in the Merrimack Valley. We are honored and excited to be supported by these funds to do this work.”
“Our patients are our first priority, and this funding goes a long way to helping us to be more accessible to our community and to improve the overall patient experience,” said Susan West Levine, CEO of Lowell Community Health Center. “These improvements will allow us to provide enhanced infection prevention measures such as hands-free sliding doors, and to increase patient satisfaction through the establishment of a welcome and patient service center to better meet the information needs of our patients.”
“COVID has demonstrated the need for community health centers to be able to meet the needs of our communities. This funding will help Community Health Connections to dramatically improve access to care by increasing the number of medical, dental and behavioral health services we are able to provide. We are pleased that the federal government recognizes the contributions of community health centers,” said Community Health Connections, Inc. President and CEO John DeMalia.
The funds, which are awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be used by health centers to support major health care construction and renovation projects. Examples include filling the gap on COVID-19-related capital needs, constructing new facilities, renovating and expanding existing facilities to enhance response to pandemics, and purchasing new state-of-the-art equipment such as telehealth technology, mobile medical vans, and freezers to store vaccines. This investment will strengthen primary health care infrastructure and advance health equity and health outcomes in traditionally underserved communities, including through projects that support COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination.
“Health centers are lifelines for many of our most vulnerable families across the country, especially amidst the pandemic,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to American Rescue Plan funds, we’re modernizing facilities across the country to better meet the most pressing public health challenges associated with COVID-19. This historic investment means we get to expand access to care for COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination – all with an eye towards advancing equity.”
This funding is in addition to the $18.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding Trahan announced shortly after passage of the relief package in March. The historic legislation included $7.6 billion to further support COVID-19 response efforts at community health centers, including $1 billion to modernize health centers and support underserved communities. In total, the American Rescue Plan provided $27 billion to address health disparities and protect vulnerable populations for the duration of the pandemic.
Trahan welcomed U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to the Third District in August to tour health facilities and nonprofits that have received COVID-19 relief funding, including Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. During the visit, Becerra touted the tremendous success of federal investments in community health centers.