Congresswoman Lori Trahan Wednesday advocated for and moved through the Energy and Commerce Committee legislation providing more federal money for community health centers—including clinics in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen.
The bill would extend the Community Health Center Fund for the next two years at $4.2 billion per year, a 5% increase from current levels. It would also extend the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program through 2029, beginning at $175 million in 2024 and increasing to $275 million in 2029.
“Facilities like Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Lowell Community Health Center and Community Health Connections are pillars in our community that hardworking families depend on to build a better life. They’re part of a network of community health centers in Massachusetts that provides critical care to over one million people each year,” said Trahan.
Trahan noted Greater Lawrence Family Health Center is the first teaching health center of its kind, while Lowell Community Health Center recently received a federal grant to establish a teaching health center program of its own.
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center President and CEO Guy Fish said there is a “growing shortage of family physicians across the country, making our residency program even more vital to the future health of our community.”
He noted, “In 1994, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center became the first accredited Community Health Center-sponsored Family Physician Residency in the country. In 2011, Lawrence Family Medicine Residency was recognized by HRSA as one of the nation’s first teaching health centers under the Affordable Care Act.”
Trahan, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, said the legislation now moves to the House floor for a vote.