Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley toured the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) on Monday and joined staff and patients for a roundtable conversation about the importance of community health centers.
“I continue to fight for funding,” said Pressley, who noted that her 7th Congressional District has more community health centers than any other district in the country. “I just secured $10 million over the next five years for community health centers,” she said, noting that “the funding was included in the bill that we just passed out of the House as part of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.”
“You all deserve to be in a better position fiscally than [re-setting] every two years. It’s very challenging both from a sustainability standpoint — morale, visioning, and long-term planning to have to do that reset,” she added.
Physicians from the health center said that fully utilizing an integrated approach to health, taking into account mental, behavioral health, and holistically treating the whole person has made a huge difference in the effectiveness of their services.
“I’m here because I’m grateful for what all of you do and I want to make sure that I can continue to support you,” said Pressley, who is a member of the Congressional Community Health Centers Caucus.
She, in partnership with US Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, led 85 of their colleagues in sending a letter in October to Senate and House leadership urging them to provide a five-year extension of the Community Health Center Fund.
The 52 health centers in Massachusetts provide affordable care to over 300,000 children, people experiencing homelessness, immigrants, and veterans.