WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Representative Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded $801,768 in federal grant funding to Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center in Nashua to help strengthen the telehealth services it provides amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will help the center obtain computers and telecommunications devices, as well as make improvements to its network and security, to provide enhanced telehealth services to patients, including those who identify as experiencing homelessness. The funding was secured as part of Senator Hassan’s work to invest in telehealth programs in the end of year COVID-19 relief bill.
“Telehealth has made an incredible difference in the lives of Granite Staters, increasing high-quality health care access while protecting patients from COVID-19,” said Senator Hassan. “Last year, I successfully worked to include significant resources to strengthen telehealth programs so that more Granite Staters can get the health care that they need. We know our health centers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’m pleased to see this funding support Nashua’s Harbor Health Care and Wellness Center as they continue to serve patients and meet their health care needs.”
“Telehealth has become a critical tool in expanding access to health care in remote and hard-to-reach areas amid the pandemic. That’s why I’m so pleased to welcome funding from the FCC to support health care providers at Harbor Health Care and Wellness Center in Nashua,” said Senator Shaheen. “This funding will subsidize the cost of computers and telehealth equipment for this center, which caters to at-risk communities like people experiencing homelessness. Health care is a right, not a privilege. Boosting telehealth services will help increase affordable care to those who need it most. The time to invest in building out telehealth networks is now.”
“Telehealth services have been a lifeline for Granite Staters during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have the opportunity to make a real difference for patients long after this public health crisis by expanding virtual care options,” said Representative Kuster. “These federal funds heading to Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center in Nashua will support ongoing efforts to serve our communities through telehealth by upgrading technology and expanding network capability. I will continue working to ensure health services are available and accessible to those who need them in New Hampshire.”
Senator Hassan is leading efforts to strengthen telehealth services. She successfully pushed for an additional nearly $250 million for the FCC's COVID-19 telehealth program. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan supported the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act, which was also included in the government funding and COVID-19 relief bill. The bill will help to grow ECHO programs, which are telehealth mentoring models used to educate providers; the University of New Hampshire serves as the Project ECHO hub for New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Senator Hassan has also advocated for the bipartisan Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021 in order to expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare, make permanent COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities, improve health outcomes, and make it easier for patients to safely connect with their doctors.