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Emergency funding needed

Dear Editor,

Elected officials across the country are debating solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Community Health Centers are key to ensuring everyone can access affordable, quality health care, during and beyond the pandemic. They are locally run yet part of a national network serving almost 30 million people nationwide. They save American taxpayers $24 billion a year in health care costs by preventing and managing chronic diseases. CHCs are not ordinary medical clinics; they are also problem-solvers who reach beyond the exam room to care for the whole person. Community Health Centers care for everyone, regardless of insurance status. As unemployment rises and more Americans lose their employee-sponsored health care, Community Health Centers will be the key to keeping America healthy.

I understand firsthand the importance of Community Health Centers. Ohio Hills Health Services provides primary and preventive health and dental care and behavioral health counseling services at five locations — Barnesville, Caldwell, Freeport, Quaker City and Woodsfield. OHHS ensures that quality health care is available, accessible and affordable for everyone in the rural communities we serve.

Community Health Centers are a vital part of our communities. In order to survive and thrive well beyond the pandemic, Congress must pass emergency and long-term funding for Community Health Centers. As part of National Health Center Week 2020 (Aug. 9-15), I support our Community Health Centers and celebrate their mission and many accomplishments.

Jeff Britton, CEO

Ohio Hills Health Services

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