Coram, NY – On Wednesday, October 12, New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined NYS Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, County Legislators Rob Carlarco and Kate Browning, Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, Family and Children’s Association President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, and HRHCare President and CEO Anne Kauffman Nolon at the HRHCare Elsie Owens Health Center in Coram to express concerns around federal cuts to health care, and urge swift action to reinstate funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“New York’s health care system is under assault by the federal government, and our children and the most vulnerable among us are their targets,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who crisscrossed the state with the Governor’s message. “We must tell our representatives in Washington to restore funding for the Child Health Insurance Program and Federally Qualified Health Centers, and not to abandon our fellow New Yorkers. Enough is enough. Congress needs to stop playing politics over people’s lives.”
The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides insurance coverage to New York residents under 19 who meet income requirements based on family size. This program has reduced the number of uninsured children in New York State from 700,000 to 100,000, and covers 67,000 children on Long Island alone.
Federally Qualified Health Centers serve over 2 million New Yorkers, with HRHCare (Suffolk County’s only FQHC) providing primary, behavioral, and dental care to over 175,000 patients. On October 1st, Congress failed to address expiring federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and FQHCs.
“I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Hochul for bringing us together today and encouraging us to stand up to policies that will damage the health of our communities,” said HRHCare President and CEO Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH. “I am thankful to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor for their relentless support, and to Suffolk County for inviting HRHCare to expand access to quality and affordable health care across Long Island.”
“The Governor’s administration has had a history of championing issues that matter to Long Island,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “You are standing up for our children, the most vulnerable and most important members of our communities. We want to thank you for everything you are doing to help our kids.”
“As your Health Care Commissioner, I am appalled that the health of our children is in jeopardy because Washington is putting dollar signs before vital signs,” said NYS Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. “As the number of uninsured children continues to decline, we should be proud all that the Children’s Health Insurance Program has done for New York families. We must do all we can to protect our children’s future, now and moving forward.”
The Elsie Owens Health Center in Coram joined the HRHCare network in 2012. Mrs. Owens was a tireless community health advocate, former Brookhaven NAACP President, and was appointed to serve on the Board of Visitors for Sagamore Children’s Center by Governor Mario Cuomo. The health center offers medical and dental care to everyone in the Coram community, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
Founded over 40 years ago as a Federally Qualified Health Center, HRHCare Community Health is one of the nation’s largest community health providers. The HRHCare network of 28 health centers throughout the Hudson Valley and Long Island provides affordable, accessible care to over 175,000 patients through more than 650,000 visits annually. Our more than 350 primary care practitioners and 700 specialists and support staff have made HRHCare a destination for convenient, high-quality care for all.
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