The Institute Goes to Albany for Health Center Advocacy Day 2019
On Monday, March 4th, Institute for Family Health staff traveled to Albany to meet with elected officials for Health Center Advocacy Day 2019. Community health advocates, health center board members, and patients from across New York State joined together to meet with legislators to promote the importance of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in providing high quality, affordable primary care services in high-need communities. Among other issues, attendees met with legislators to discuss health care coverage for immigrant New Yorkers and funding for school-based health centers.
One of the programs discussed was the Diagnostic and Treatment Center Safety Net Pool, which currently provides over $50 million in State funding for uninsured patients, some of whom are undocumented immigrants. The Institute and other health centers joined our statewide association, the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS), in asking for $20 million in additional funding to meet the needs of all uninsured New Yorkers.
Advocacy Day attendees also urged the legislature to restore funding to the school-based health centers (SBHCs) program. There are over 250 SBHCs across New York State – more than half operated by FQHCs (the Institute operates five). In 2017, NYS funding for SBHCs was reduced and some SBHCs lost as much as 70% of their grant funding. The Institute joins with our sister health centers and CHCANYS in urging NYS legislators to restore full funding to SBHCs, so they can continue serving their communities.
New York State FQHCs provide high-quality primary and preventive care, including medical, mental health, and dental care, as well as social services to all New Yorkers, regardless of their ability to pay. The Institute is proud to be one of New York’s FQHCs and we look forward to many more years helping our patients live healthy and long lives.