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Rep. Lori Trahan secures funding for trio of community health centers

Rep. Lori Trahan on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives last week addressing PFAS issues across the region, including the Nashoba Valley.
Rep. Lori Trahan on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives last week addressing PFAS issues across the region, including the Nashoba Valley.

LOWELL — The Lowell Community Health Center was among a trio of area health centers that received a total of nearly $2.8 million in federal relief funding from the American Rescue Plan.

U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, announced the funding, which includes $879,5000 that will be provided to the Lowell Community Health Center.

The funds, which are awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be used by health centers to support major health care construction and renovation projects.

“Our patients are our first priority, and this funding goes a long way to helping us to be more accessible to our community and to improve the overall patient experience,” said Susan West Levine, CEO of Lowell Community Health Center, in a press release issued from Trahan’s office.

“These improvements will allow us to provide enhanced infection prevention measures such as hands-free sliding doors, and to increase patient satisfaction through the establishment of a welcome and patient service center to better meet the information needs of our patients,” Levine said.

Also receiving the funding is Community Health Connections Inc., based in Fitchburg, which was allocated $772,184; and the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, which received $1,119,970, the release states.

“COVID has demonstrated the need for community health centers to be able to meet the needs of our communities,” said Community Health Connections Inc. President and CEO John DeMalia, in the release. “This funding will help Community Health Connections to dramatically improve access to care by increasing the number of medical, dental and behavioral health services we are able to provide.”

Trahan said the coronavirus pandemic has proven the importance of the three community health centers.

“Health care workers at these facilities have been working around the clock to maintain a high level of service for the patients they serve,” Trahan said. “The efforts of these health centers to ensure that the quality of their facilities reflects their incredible work is important.”

The latest funding is in addition to the $18.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding Trahan announced shortly after passage of the relief package in March. The legislation included $7.6 billion to support COVID-19 response efforts at community health centers, including $1 billion to modernize health centers and support underserved communities.

According to the release, the American Rescue Plan provided $27 billion in total “to address health disparities and protect vulnerable populations for the duration of the pandemic.”

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