news congress passes legislation to enable health centers to expand mobile clinics
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Congress passes legislation to enable health centers to expand mobile clinics

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Since 2019, health center mobile units have seen a 40 percent growth.

Mobile units enable health centers to provide care beyond the brick and mortar walls with mammograms, dental, vaccinations, cancer screenings and telehealth for underserved communities.

The Maximizing Outcomes through Better Investments in Lifesaving Equipment for (MOBILE) Health Care Act passed the House with an overwhelming vote of 414-7, according to a press release. The legislation will go before the Senate next, then President Joe Biden’s desk for signature.

The legislation would enable community health centers to establish mobile clinics in rural areas and underserved communities, and provide federal funds through the New Access Points Grants program to establish new, mobile health care delivery sites.

“On behalf of Community Health Centers and the 30 million patients they serve, I want to thank Senators Jacky Rosen (Nevada) and Susan Collins (Maine) and Representatives Susie Lee (Nevada), Richard Hudson (North Carolina), Raul Ruiz (California), and Jamie Herrera Beutler (Washington) for pushing this important bill to increase access to high-quality primary care in rural communities through the expansion of mobile clinics,” Rachel Gonzales-Hanson, Interim President and CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), said in a press release. “While nearly half of health centers are located in rural and frontier communities, we know there is still unmet need. Additional mobile clinics will enable existing health centers to reach more patients who live in remote or isolated communities where medical, dental, and preventive care services are sorely needed. Mobile clinics have been essential in the fight against COVID. Over the last six months, health centers have held nearly 7,000 mobile COVID events to test and vaccinate patients.”

 

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.