May 07, 2020

NH Delegation Announces More Than $2.4 Million to Expand COVID-19 Testing in NH Community Health Centers

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced that $2,404,930 will be awarded to community health centers throughout New Hampshire to expand their COVID-19 testing capabilities. The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and is part of $583 million that has been distributed nationally to community health centers as part of funds appropriated by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law in last month.

 

By standing firm in negotiations on the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, Senator Shaheen and the delegation helped secure $25 billion in funding for a nationwide effort to ramp up testing capacity.

 

“We must dramatically ramp up testing to understand the full scope of the spread of this virus in our communities, which is critical to shaping public health guidelines and social distance practices that have helped keep people safe,” said Senator Shaheen. “Our community health centers in New Hampshire and across the nation have an especially important role to play in achieving this objective. By ensuring they have the funding they need to increase their testing capacities, we will significantly improve our ability to track the spread of COVID-19 and ensure those who need treatment can get the help they need. Though I’m pleased this funding is out the door, we still have much work to do, and I’ll continue to work across the aisle until we reach a point where anyone who needs a test can get it without hindrance or delay.”

 

“Community Health Centers are working hard to support their patients during this difficult time, and they must receive the federal resources necessary to continue to provide high-quality, affordable health care to Granite Staters,” Senator Hassan said. “This additional federal funding will help Community Health Centers ramp up their testing capacity, and I will continue working with the rest of the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation to ensure that our frontline workers have what they need to safely combat this deadly virus and keep people safe.”

 

“Expanding the availability of reliable COVID-19 testing is key to combating this public health crisis,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This funding will enable Granite State community health centers, which play a vital role in protecting vulnerable populations, to increase their testing capacity while also keeping patients and staff safe. I’m pleased by this positive development and will continue working to ensure New Hampshire has the resources and support it needs to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

“Community health centers play an instrumental role in delivering quality care most vulnerable, and this additional federal support could not have come at a more pivotal time,” said Congressman Pappas. “As we begin to re-open our economy, this increased funding and testing capacity will ensure we are securing the health and well-being of our communities and responding effectively to this pandemic.” 

 

A breakdown of the funds awarded can be seen in the table below:

 

Health Center

Community

Funding Amount

AMMONOOSUC COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES INC

LITTLETON

$260,044

AMOSKEAG HEALTH

MANCHESTER

$318,619

COOS COUNTY FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES, INC.

BERLIN

$288,499

GREATER SEACOAST COMMUNITY HEALTH

SOMERSWORTH

$337,324

HARBOR HOMES, INC.

NASHUA

$146,239

HEALTHFIRST FAMILY CARE CENTER, INC.

FRANKLIN

$174,214

INDIAN STREAM HEALTH CENTER

COLEBROOK

$151,924

LAMPREY HEALTH CARE, INC.

NEWMARKET

$332,239

CITY OF MANCHESTER

MANCHESTER

$120,709

MID-STATE HEALTH CENTER

PLYMOUTH

$275,119

 

Increasing the nation’s testing capacity has been a top priority for Senator Shaheen. Earlier this week, Shaheen & Hassan called on the Trump administration to develop a comprehensive national strategic plan of action by May 24th to ensure states have sufficient tests to begin safely re-opening. Shaheen and Hassan also called on Congress to include $8 billion in new funding for contact tracing initiatives in the next COVID-19 response legislation. Shaheen and Hassan supported the $25 billion to increase COVID-19 testing capacity and make an initial investment in contact tracing in the recently passed Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. In March, Shaheen and Hassan, along with the rest of the with the state’s congressional delegation and the Governor, urged the President to speed up the distribution of critical medical supplies, including swabs for diagnostic testing. Senators Shaheen and Hassan called on Vice President Pence and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to conduct a national inventory of COVID-19 testing supplies, publicly release data on testing results and provide a detailed plan and timeline for addressing future shortages and gaps in the testing supply chain. Senator Shaheen recently called on FEMA to prioritize COVID-19 testing kits for New Hampshire in reaction to the agency’s inadequate response to the state’s needs, which included sending 15 testing machines but only 120 testing kits for the entire state. Last month, Congresswoman Kuster unveiled her “Roadmap to Recovery” proposal to outline measures important to responsibly responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis, including the need for a comprehensive national testing strategy.

 

 

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