WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary marked Community Health Center Week by announcing an $11 billion investment in health centers.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of HHS, said Tuesday after 45 years there are 8,500 U.S. health center sites across the country, treating more than 20 million people each year.
"They are the cornerstones of stronger communities. They also boost local economies, adding more than 25,000 jobs in the last three years," Sebelius said in a statement. "This year, as we celebrate Community Health Center Week, we keep in mind that for 45 years, community health centers have served individuals and families whether they have private insurance, insurance through a public program like the Children's Health Insurance Program or Medicaid, or no insurance at all."
A community health center is a clinic staffed by a group of general practitioners and nurses generally serving medically underserved areas which includes people uninsured, underinsured, low-income or those living in areas where little access to primary healthcare is available.
"Community health centers are a place where mothers can take their children for dental checkups, where seniors can fill their prescriptions, where families turn when they need help finding a job or access to child care services," Sebelius said. "Through the Affordable Care Act, we're making an historic $11 billion investment in our nation's community health centers."