Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) honored Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) with its Legacy of Leadership Award during the nonprofit membership organization’s annual conference on October 11 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Community Health Center staff, board members, and stakeholders were present at the Amway Grand Plaza to recognize Senator Stabenow for championing wider access to primary care, and for strengthening America’s investment in Community Health Centers.
“The Legacy of Leadership Award is Michigan Primary Care Association’s premier award that annually recognizes the performance of exemplary leadership to benefit Michigan Community Health Center patients,” said Kim Sibilsky, Executive Director. “Senator Stabenow is most deserving of this award because of her steadfast commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of insurance status or income.”
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Stabenow was instrumental in helping to shape the Affordable Care Act. A key component of health reform is expanding and strengthening the nationwide network of Community Health Centers so young and old, rich and poor have a health care home. Funding provided under health reform will enable Health Centers to expand their capacity to double the number of patients currently served to 40 million in five years. This investment is projected to save up to $122 billion in total health care costs between 2011 and 2015.
“I am honored to receive this award and proud to partner with the Michigan Primary Care Association, which is dedicated to providing quality, affordable health care to families who do not have access to basic medical services,” said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. “Since being elected to the Senate, securing funding for Community Health Centers has been one of my top priorities, and I am pleased that 16 new centers have been built in Michigan since 2001. I will continue fighting for additional resources, so we can open more Community Health Centers across our state.”
Today, Health Centers serve as the health care home for over 20 million people in more than 7,500 U.S. communities, including nearly 600,000 Michigan residents at over 160 delivery sites across the state. Many Health Center patients would otherwise go without care because of where they live, the language they speak, and their complex health care needs.
“Community Health Centers are deeply grateful to Senator Stabenow for her tremendous support, and her commitment to preserve, strengthen, and expand access to quality health care for America’s medically underserved,” said Sibilsky. “She continues to be a strong voice on behalf of Health Centers and the patients they serve, and she understands that Health Centers are a vital part of the solution to this nation’s health care crisis by ensuring more people have access to a health care home that provides affordable, quality medical, dental, and behavioral health care that saves money.”
MPCA and Michigan Community Health Centers look forward to continuing to work with Senator Stabenow to further expand the state’s Health Centers so they can meet the increased need for quality, affordable care among Michigan residents.