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Illinois community health centers being funded

Southern Illinois Health Care Foundation in Sauget and other health operations around the state are to receive millions in funding after action in Washington, D.C.

After months of uncertainty that threatened access to care for more than 27 million people nationally, Congress renewed funding for community health centers in February. The two-year reauthorization will provide health centers will $3.8 billion in 2018 and $4 billion in 2019 – a $600 million increase.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Illinois Democrats, said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded eight community health centers in Illinois a total of $12,914,396 through the Health Resources and Services Administration Health Center Program. Community health centers are community-based organizations that improve access to affordable, high-quality health care in underserved urban and rural communities by integrating primary health care with pharmacy, mental health, substance abuse and oral health services.

“It took far too long, but I am so pleased that Congress finally reauthorized funding for health clinics that provide high-quality, comprehensive medical care for more than one million Illinoisans every year,” Durbin said. “This investment will help community health centers continue to improve health outcomes and reduce patient costs for Illinoisans.”

“Community health clinics help children, families and seniors across Illinois access the essential healthcare services they need to stay healthy,” Duckworth said. “I’m pleased Sen. Durbin and I were able to ensure Community Health Centers like these across Illinois will receive a full year of funding certainty despite delayed action from Congressional Republicans.”

Under this announcement, the following organizations will receive funding to support patient-centered care:

• Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation (Sauget): $2,577,728
• Access Community Health Network (Chicago): $3,523,293
• Christopher Greater Area Rural Health Planning Corporation (Christopher): $295,510
• Crusader Central Clinic Association (Rockford): $1,065,043
• Erie Family Health Center (Chicago): $1,261,318
• Greater Elgin Family Care Center (Elgin): $1,359,244
• Near North Health Service Corporation (Chicago): $1,185,866
• VNA Health Care (Aurora): $1,646,394

Illinois community health centers currently provide primary health care services to approximately 1.3 million Illinois residents – including one out of every four Medicaid patients – at 51 health centers with 360 treatment sites in medically underserved areas throughout the state. Illinois community health centers employ over 7,600 individuals, equaling a payroll of more than $508 million. They also inject approximately $800 million in operating expenditures into their communities, resulting in an overall economic impact of $1.48 billion and overall employment of 11,700. A recent study found that Illinois community health centers save 27 percent in total spending per Medicaid patient compared to non-health center providers.

Over its 50-year history, the Health Center Program has grown from two community health centers to nearly 1,400 community health centers operating more than 9,800 clinic sites in every U.S. state and territory. One in 13 people nationwide rely on a HRSA-funded community health center for their preventive and primary health care needs.

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