Congressman Brian Higgins was in Niagara Falls to join the Community Health Center of Niagara in recognizing Community Health Center Week. In 2010, Community Health Center of Buffalo opened the Community Health Center of Niagara, a satellite location and the first Federally Qualified Health Center in Niagara Falls.
Higgins recognized the role of community health centers in Western New York and across the U.S. by presenting an extension of remarks, which will be documented in the Congressional Record.
In his remarks, Higgins said, "Established in 1999, the Community Health Center of Buffalo has been one of the leading health care providers in our region, providing a safety net to the uninsured and under-insured. As a provider of comprehensive primary care services in medicine and dentistry, their services are essential to ensure Western New Yorkers receive quality health care."
He went on to recognize the honorable mission of this nation's community health centers, and the inspiring work their workers do to promote public health in Western New York.
Following the congressman's remarks, a lecture to address caring for communities of color with HIV infection was presented to local health care personnel by Veronica D. Jenkins, M.D., medical director of Family and Medical Counseling Service in Washington, D.C.
A member of the congressional cancer caucus, Higgins has been an avid supporter of increased federal funding for biomedical research, an area creating jobs along the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The congressman said he believes Western New York is uniquely positioned to be an outlier in health care innovation.
National Health Center Week 2013 is celebrated Aug. 11-17. Community health centers, also known as federally qualified health centers, serve more than 22 million patients across the nation with high-quality, low-cost care, alleviating income and ethnic health disparities by opening health center doors to all individuals, regardless of ability to pay. Additionally, health centers generate $24 billion in annual health system savings and provide jobs to thousands of community members nationwide.