Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion to send a five-signature letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to advocate for sufficient federal funding for community clinics and health centers:
“Community Health Centers throughout Los Angeles County have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In LA County, 1.7 million patients go to community clinics for care each year. Health centers provide triage, treatment, and referrals while working closely with local health departments and the state of California. In this public health crisis, clinics and health centers are uniquely positioned to slow the spread of the coronavirus because they are rooted in their communities and are a trusted source of information.
“With the appropriate state and federal funding, community clinics and health centers have the potential to unburden our health care system by treating low-income underinsured and uninsured residents who need access to medical care. However, to date, community health centers that qualify for federal funding have received $60.2 million in emergency funding, which will not cover one month’s lost revenue.
“Unless these centers receive more funding, it is estimated that half of the 64 nonprofit neighborhood clinics and health centers that operate more than 350 sites throughout LA County will be forced to close locations months before this pandemic is under control. Members of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County want to keep their doors open and their staff employed both during this crisis and beyond. LA County urges that the federal government ensures that sufficient funding is awarded to these health centers which are on the frontlines of this global pandemic.”
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