Friday, July 15, 2011
Contra Costa County will receive nearly half a million dollars to help improve the health of children with school-based health clinics thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
The grant was one of 278 awarded to school-based health center programs to help expand care to students nationwide by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which made the announcement today. Contra Costa Health Services, the Contra Costa County health system, received $498,524 to fund two additional school-based mobile health clinics. The funding was made possible under the 2009 Affordable Care Act that was co-authored by Congressman George Miller and strongly supported by Congressman John Garamendi and other House Democrats.
"This is yet more evidence of the positive effects for our community from the Affordable Care Act. Once again, we see this law working to improve the health of our community, despite attacks on the law from Washington Republicans," Miller said of the announcement. "Contra Costa Health Services deserves the most sincere congratulations on winning this award today. Their work in our community has a huge impact on so many lives and I look forward to seeing the health clinics in action."
The grant will make it possible for Contra Costa Health Services to provide health services to an additional 1,950 students annually with the two new 44-foot-long mobile clinics, said Public Health Clinic Services Director Sue Crosby. That means a total 5,000 children in Contra Costa will receive care each year through six mobile clinics serving schools throughout the county. The new clinics should be in service within the next year.
"We are so pleased to receive this funding for these vital resources that help us provide quick, affordable, safe and convenient health services to children who might not otherwise receive the care they need to be healthy and to be able to go to school," Crosby said.
School-based health centers improve the overall health and wellness of all children through health screenings, health promotion and disease prevention activities and enable children with acute or chronic illnesses to attend school. This method of providing health care has been proven to help keep children healthy, said Garamendi, who was California's Insurance Commissioner and Lieutenant Governor.
"Education and health together constitute two essential building blocks for happy, fulfilling lives and they help our children compete in the global market for jobs- to Make It In America," Garamendi said. "I applaud the Contra Costa County Health Services Department for securing the money for this valuable investment."
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/. To learn more about HRSA's School-Based Health Center Capital Program, visit http://www.hrsa.gov/ourstories/schoolhealthcenters/ For more information on Contra Costa Health Services, visit http://cchealth.org/