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Authorize funding for health centers

Community health centers are an important facet of the U.S. According to a 2016 National Health Interview Survey by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, at the time of the interview, 28.2 million persons under the age of 65 were uninsured in the U.S. The CDC amounts that number to be 10.4 percent of people under the age of 65. Community health centers, like those associated with Central Virginia Health Services (CVHS), are a key component to serving those who are either uninsured or underinsured.

Currently, CVHS is seeing 70 percent of its funding at risk due to funds for community health centers throughout the U.S. still not having been recertified after funding ran out at the end of September. CVHS is a nonprofit. According to CVHS Executive Director Paula Tomko, there are 10,000 different community health centers across the country, and health centers have been around for 50 years. She said Head Start and community health centers were part of the War on Poverty back with President Lyndon Johnson.

“We’re the only two programs still in existence, and it has always had bipartisan support, so this is the first year since the ’80s that we’ve seen our funding not automatically approved,” Tomko said.

She said while CVHS has several months of reserves built up, there are a lot of community health centers that have had to reduce resources, hours or even close their doors.

I stand behind recertifying funding for community health centers nationwide and believe this is a necessity that all should stand behind. Support the community health centers and their efforts to get funding approved.

CVHS accepts donations online at www.cvhsinc.org or at 25892 N. James Madison Highway, P.O. Box 220, New Canton, VA 23123.

MORGAN WHITE is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Morgan.White@FarmvilleHerald.com.