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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Congressional budget impasse threatens IL community health centers

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Thursday, March 7, 2024   

Community health centers in Illinois are stuck in financial limbo as Congress contends with another potential government shutdown.

More than forty community health centers serve low-income communities across the state - but a lack of long-term funding has impacted their ability to hire staff or plan for behavioral, pediatric and other care.

Perla Herrera, a patient and consumer board member at Access Community Health Network, received treatment for breast cancer in 2011 and again last year for a stroke.

"Never before that did I ever feel that anybody cared about me, but Access - they did," said Herrera. "They threw that life raft out for me."

Herrera said the center saved her life and gave her the chance to meet her granddaughter.

The House and Senate are both considering bills to increase health center funding but they've been bogged down in budget negotiations for months.

The legislation represents the largest increase in funding in years, and healthcare advocates say it's greatly needed.

Increased healthcare costs, a shortage of workers, and changes in Medicaid enrollment following the pandemic have put essential services at risk.

Herrera said community health centers go above and beyond - linking patients to food and housing resources, providing mental healthcare and keeping people safe.

"Access' main goal is to have us healthy and to continue quality of care," said Herrera. "They don't just take care of your health. They take care of the whole you."

Healthcare advocates say they're cautiously optimistic that Congress will avoid any disruptions in funding for community health centers, which are now the country's largest primary care network - serving more than thirty million people.

Herrera said the centers keep families healthy and therefore, together. She said they've impacted her family so much, her son was inspired to work in a healthcare clinic himself.






Disclosure: The National Association of Community Health Centers contributes to our fund for reporting on Early Childhood Education, Education. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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