Letter to the editor: Health centers deserve support

Posted 9/25/19

Health centers deserve support Health care is a top issue here in Colorado and across the U.S. – and with valid concern. Everyone seems to have a story about how difficult it is to see a doctor, …

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Letter to the editor: Health centers deserve support

Posted

Health centers deserve support

Health care is a top issue here in Colorado and across the U.S. – and with valid concern. Everyone seems to have a story about how difficult it is to see a doctor, fill a prescription or get affordable care. Congress is debating a lot of fixes, but one solution they should focus on has already been around for more than five decades: community health centers. Health centers like mine care for 28 million people across the nation, including more than one in seven people in Colorado.

Community health centers save the health care system $24 billion a year by eliminating waste and generate $54.6 billion in economic activity. Health centers are addressing public health challenges – the opioid epidemic, caring for veterans and helping communities that have been historically underserved. They keep people healthy and save lives. I know, because STRIDE Community Health Center saved my life. My health was never something I could prioritize, until I discovered the resources available at my community health center.

As a STRIDE patient over the last decade, I have met enough people impacted by their care to understand that community health centers have collectively saved the lives of many Coloradans. Health centers are a bipartisan program, but even strong support doesn’t guarantee survival in Washington. I recently reached out to our Colorado senators and representatives in Congress to urge them to vote for stable and long-term funding for health centers. Let’s hope they act soon in passing legislation before time runs out.

Jean Sisneros

Community health center patient for more than 10 years, Chair of the board of directors, STRIDE Community Health Center

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