Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced two grants totaling $3,524,948 for Neighborhood Health Center and Community Health Center of Buffalo (CHCB). The funding, which was included in the American Rescue Plan, demonstrates the federal effort to lead in response to the pandemic, helping to improve and support COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination capabilities in Western New York.
Higgins spoke about the role of federal health centers in remarks on the House floor, saying in part, “Federally qualified health centers are located in neighborhoods connecting to people where they live and where families today are struggling. Health centers in my Western New York community are on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 and our ongoing battle to end health disparities. This funding, provided through the American Rescue Plan, will help support the health center workforce and deliver testing treatment and vaccines to help our communities and to keep them safe.”
"We remain grateful for the continued federal funding in efforts to create a coordinated approach to beating this public health crisis," said Joanne Haefner, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Health Center of WNY. "Congressman Higgins' ongoing support and advocacy for our region's federally qualified health centers has been key to garnering the resources needed to ensure health equity in the nation's pandemic response, assuring we are reaching all of our beloved community members."
Dr. LaVonne Ansari, CEO CHCB said, “We are excited about this new appropriation from the American Rescue Plan! These dollars will help us in our mission to make vaccines accessible to those who live in difficult to reach communities and are in the most need. The continued support of Congressman Higgins helps keep our community safe and save lives.”
The American Rescue Plan included $7.6 billion for Community Health Centers to support COVID-19 response and community outreach in underserved communities. The grants, provided to Western New York through the United States Department of Health and Human Services, include:
- Neighborhood Health Center - $1,809,352
- Community Health Center - $1,715,596
Throughout the pandemic Higgins has fought for additional funding and resources for the community, sending a letter last month to the Biden Administration requesting that Western New York health centers receive a direct federal allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine to meet the high local demand. The request was successful, making Neighborhood Health Center, Community Health Center and Jericho Road official federal vaccination sites.