On Tuesday, February 21, Advocates for Community Health (ACH) joined Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), ACH members Morris Heights Health Center (MHHC) and Sun River Health, and other community health advocates to announce the introduction of the Health Center Community Transformation Hub Act during a press conference at MHHC’s Maternal Health Center of Excellence.
For more than a year, ACH has worked tirelessly with Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and her team to draft and advance this legislation. “We are so grateful to Congresswoman Clarke for championing the Health Center Community Transformation Hub Act and her commitment to ensuring patients in underserved communities across the country have access to quality, comprehensive care,” said Advocates for Community Health CEO Amanda Pears Kelly.
“In 2021, CHCs funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration served more than 30 million patients—a 43% increase over the ten years prior. All indications are clear. The time to invest in the future of health care is right now. Never forget that health care is a community affair and we each have a part to play to make sure no one gets left behind,” stated Congresswoman Clarke. “I’m proud to stand alongside these healthcare heroes this evening on behalf of a bill that will not only support them and their critical work but will also fundamentally redefine the healthcare status quo in Brooklyn, in New York, and across this nation.”MHHC’s new Maternal Health Center of Excellence, where the event was hosted, is a prime example of the kind of innovative collaboration this legislation will help to support. “Through the Congresswoman Clarke’s Health Center Community Transformation Hub Act, we’ll be able to receive funding to help service our communities by addressing health inequalities. We will be able to fairly distribute resources back into our community,” said MHHC President & CEO Mari Millet.
Two MHHC patients also shared how critical the comprehensive care they’ve received at the health center has been for them and their families, particularly the maternal health support they’ve had access to.
Spokespeople from Sun River Health, another ACH member serving thousands of patients in Brooklyn and throughout the state of New York, also shared how impactful this legislation would be for their center and their patients. “Health centers have been innovating for 50 plus yeas to do more with less. Representative Yvette Clarke is taking strides to make investments that help us do what we do best w/ the Health Center Community Transformation Hub Act,” said Sun River Health Chief of Advocacy & Government Affairs Chris Quinones.
The Health Center Community Transformation Hub Act builds on the work of community health centers by creating a supplemental grant program to help CHCs serve as a “hub” among local organizations to more effectively address the social determinants of health faced by patients. Confronting these social determinants of health, such as access to reliable transportation, quality education, health literacy, and healthy food—among many others—is key to ensuring a healthier community and true transformation. ACH is dedicated to continuing to advocate with our members to encourage more leaders in Congress to join Congresswoman Clarke and support this critical legislation to help ensure health centers can do what they do best—address the holistic needs of their patients and transform communities for the better.