среда, 19 сентября 2012 г.

SEN. BINGAMAN BILL WOULD BOOST ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE - US Fed News Service, Including US State News

The office of Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., issued the following news release:

U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman this week reintroduced legislation he wrote to improve access to health education and prenatal care and other services to women in medically underserved areas, including the U.S. border region along New Mexico.

Bingaman's 'Community Health Workers Act of 2009,' would providing $15 million per year for a three year period in grants to community health centers and public health departments. Funding would be used to hire community health workers - also known as 'promotoras' - to provide health education, outreach, and referrals to pregnant women and their families who otherwise would have little or no contact with health care services.

'Lack of access to adequate health care and health education is a significant problem on the southern New Mexico border. While the problem of access is in part due to a lack of insurance, it is also attributable to non-financial barriers including a shortage of physicians, hospitals, and other health professionals, inadequate transportation, and a lack of bilingual health information and health providers,' Bingaman said.

'This legislation would help overcome many of these obstacles by providing funding to help State, local, and tribal organizations hire community health workers to provide health education, outreach, and referrals to women and families who otherwise would have little or no contact with health care services,' Bingaman said.

Community health workers have been effective in increasing the utilization of health preventative services such as prenatal care, cancer screenings, medical follow-up for elevated blood pressure, and improving enrollment in Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Contact: Jude McCartin and Maria Najera, 202/224-5521.

Jude McCartin and Maria Najera, 202/224-5521.