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At least 15 dead as severe weather sweeps across central US; on Memorial Day, IA labor leaders honor fallen workers; Medical center installs microgrid to safeguard clinic power supply; 'Second look' laws gain traction, but MS sticks to elderly parole; Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

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One congressman cites ways Biden could get more support from communities of color. A new Louisiana law reclassifies two abortion medications as controlled substances. And Ohio advocates work to boost youth voter turnout.

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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.

MI seniors applaud community health center funding increase

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024   

Older adults across Michigan and around the country are applauding a boost in funding for community health centers, thanks to Congress passing a bipartisan spending package.

House Resolution 4366 is a package of six Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills that continues funding for several programs and helps avoid a partial government shutdown.

Michigan community health centers serve more than 715,000 patients annually and are vital to older adults, especially those in rural areas.

Joe Dunn, senior vice president for public policy and advocacy with the National Association of Community Health Centers, said their services help remove barriers for older adults in getting access to affordable high-quality care.

"Over 100 million Americans need better access to primary care," Dunn said. "Incentivizing people to get primary care, there's fewer hospitalizations and complications from chronic conditions based on preventive screening and care. These investments reduce the costs over the long term."

Access to transportation is one of the key social determinants of health for older adults, according to AARP Michigan. It also reports that lack of access is associated with negative health outcomes.

Community health centers in Michigan annually provide more than 72,000 enabling such services as transportation, translation and health education to help better serve their communities.

Dunn added that roughly one in 11 Americans across the country gets their primary care from community health centers. He noted older folks and others living in rural areas are seeing hospital closures and have fewer primary-care options, so this network is a critical source of comprehensive care.

"They provide primary care, behavioral health, dental, just an array of services often in newer communities to reach underserved patients across the nation, especially in rural and frontier areas," he continued.

The Congressional Budget Office reported the increase in funding for community health centers just through the end of this year will reduce federal spending on public health insurance programs by more than $700 million.


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Ice cream makers in the U.S. produce more than 1.38 billion gallons of ice cream annually, with consumption usually peaking in July. (auremar/Adobe Stock)

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