PRESS RELEASE

This press release can also be read on the National Association of Community Health Centers website

Capuano Receives National Award for Community Health Care

Top Award Honors Lawmaker Who Championed Health Care for Poor, Uninsured

March 23, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) today presented U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) with the 2004 "Distinguished Community Health Champion" award for his leadership on issues that impact the 15 million people who rely on Community, Migrant, Public Housing and Homeless Health Centers for their health care. The top award is given only to select Members of Congress who have done outstanding work on behalf of low-income, uninsured and medically underserved Americans, and who have spearheaded efforts on Capitol Hill to improve health care access for all.

"Congressman Capuano has provided tremendous leadership at a critical juncture for America’s health centers," said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of NACHC. "As Co-Chair of the House Community Health Center Caucus, he has been vigilant in ensuring the strength and integrity of America's health care safety net at a time when growing demands are challenging health center resources. Congressman Capuano understands that health centers not only provide primary health care to anyone who walks through their doors, they also build healthier communities, help lower health care costs, and are engines for economic growth and jobs."

"Congressman Capuano clearly understands the mission of health centers, where every day lives are saved through good, preventive care for people who are uninsured or medically underserved," said James Hunt, of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. "He has been a passionate advocate on behalf of health centers in our state and indeed across the country. There aren't enough health centers for the people who need them and no one knows this better than Congressman Capuano who has worked hard to make sure that health care access will be a reality for all."

Community, Migrant, Public Housing and Homeless Health Centers serve as the family doctor to 15 million low-income children and adults in 3,500 communities across the country - including over 380,000 people from the Bay State. Health centers have a solid record of keeping communities healthy and disease free. Studies show in communities where there is a health center, there are shorter lines at hospital emergency rooms, lower infant mortality rates, and improved health outcomes for people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The 8th Congressional District is served by 10 health centers at over 30 sites.

--

Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208

Click photo to download enlargements.

Congressman Mike Capuano (D-MA) accepts the 2004 Champion award from NACHC Chair-Elect Jack Cradock, CEO, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, and James Luisi, Exec. Dir., North End Community Health Center in Boston, MA.