Owens Announces Health Care Funding for Upstate New York

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bill Owens today announced two grants for the North Country Children’s Clinic in Watertown and Northern Oswego County Health Services in Pulaski. Total funding, amounting to $437,727, is made possible through the Affordable Care Act’s Grants for School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) Capital Program. Owens supported passage of the health care law in March 2010

“School-based health centers improve the quality and access of health care received in Upstate New York,” said Owens. “I am pleased today to announce this funding, as these types of grants are an important investment in working to reduce health care costs. In my 30 years experience working with these programs, I have seen how valuable they are to the overall health of the communities they serve. I look forward to seeing more progress come out of the health care law as well as local school-based health centers.”

Pulaski’s Northern Oswego County Health Services will receive a grant worth $372,922 to expand operations. CEO Daniel T. Dey said he was delighted with the award to modernize and expand the facility’s SBHC program.

“The SBHC program provides an invaluable opportunity for students to obtain primary health care onsite at school,” said Dey. This minimizes disruption to parents who ordinarily may have to leave home or work to pick up their child to bring them to the doctor’s office. SBHCs are also quite effective at preventing a number of more expensive and time-consuming Emergency Department visits. The SBHC program is a wonderful complement to the services provided to students and their families through the Pulaski Health Center. This combination of services offers an accessible and affordable system of care that rightly belongs at the forefront of health care reform efforts.”

The North Country Children’s Clinic will receive $64,805 to expand in Watertown. The facility is a non-profit agency that provides high quality primary health and dental care, nutrition services, and mental health counseling to infants, children, & young adults in northern New York. News of the grant was welcomed by Aileen Martin, NCCC Executive Director.

“This funding demonstrates a strong commitment to reaching underserved children and providing high quality, accessible, comprehensive care to youth where they are – in schools,” Martin said. “The equipment provided through this grant will enhance our mission by improving the quality of healthcare delivered. The SBHC program operates on a lean budget, and without this award there is currently no funding available to purchase this equipment. Providers are currently sharing equipment and transporting bulky equipment more than 30 miles several times per week to accommodate patient needs. We’re grateful to everyone who provided letters of support for this application.”

The goal of the SBHC funding program is to award funds made available by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will support school-based health center efforts to expand capacity to provide primary healthcare services to school-aged children.