Tucson, Ariz. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva will deliver keynote remarks on health care reform and the importance of community health centers at the fifth annual National Health Center Week event at Sunset Community Health Center in San Luis on August 11. The event will include appearances by several other elected officials, free screenings for a variety of diseases and conditions, and referral services for attendees seeking medical care.
Grijalva, who supports the Affordable Care Act’s additional funding for community health centers and has urged Gov. Jan Brewer to accept the law’s optional Medicaid expansion, will be available to answer questions about new resources available to the state and to discuss the impacts of budget cuts on the state health infrastructure. Grijalva was named a Champion of Health Care Innovation earlier this year by the Healthcare Leadership Council.
The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers in all 50 states, including the 137 existing community health centers in Arizona. Health centers in Arizona have received $49.8 million to create new health center sites in medically underserved areas, increase the number of patients served, expand preventive and primary health care services, and support major construction and renovation projects.
“The importance of expanding and improving our community health center network can’t be overstated,” Grijalva said. “Centers like Sunset are becoming a bigger part of our health care system, and the Affordable Care Act funding for these centers means more people will get the care they need instead of waiting until it’s too late. This whole week has put a very deserved spotlight on the important work they do, and I’m proud to take this opportunity to thank them and talk about where we go from here.”
As he wrote in a May 17 op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, “Community health centers do more with less, and thousands of families in our community can personally attest to the quality of compassionate care they provide. Just as importantly, they’re good for the economy. Every $1 million in federal funding for health center operations yields $1.73 million in jobs and increased economic activity, according to an analysis by the National Association of Community Health Centers.”
Representatives of several health agencies will be at the event to provide screenings and consulting on ear and skin health, tobacco use, dental care, bone density, HIV, asthma and more.
If You Go
Where: San Luis Cultural Center, 1015 N. Main St. in San Luis
When: 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Rep. Grijalva speaks at approximately 9:25)
Who: Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva
State Rep. Lynn Pancrazi
Sunset CEO David Rogers
Sunset Board President Manny Figueroa
Representatives of several local health agencies