PRESS RELEASE

AAPCHO Applauds Community Health Center Bill

November 11, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Archive] Stacy Lavilla
Director of Communications
(510) 272-9536 x110
slavilla@aapcho.org

November 11, 2002 – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) applauds the recent signing of the Health Care Safety Net Amendments bill.

The bill, which authorizes the Community Health Center (CHC) program, includes for the first time, grant money for CHCs providing linguistically appropriate health care services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients. The CHC program is comprised of non-profit clinics that provide comprehensive health care to low-income and uninsured patients.

The funds would enable CHCs that serve LEP clients to offset the cost of providing health care services in the languages spoken by their patients. CHCs currently aren’t reimbursed for translation and interpretation services.

“The grants included in this bill are so important, because they help ensure that language isn’t a barrier when LEP patients access health care services,” said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO, explaining that a significant number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders fail to receive quality health care because they’re unable to communicate with their provider.

“This money helps ensure that CHCs can continue to provide these critical services, and that all patients receive the same quality of health care,” he said.

The organization, which played a critical role in ensuring that the provision was included in this bill, would not have succeeded without the support of political leaders, Caballero said. “We would not have accomplished this much without the support of Sen. Kennedy and Dodd and other key Congressional members,” he said.

AAPCHO is a not-for-profit association of community health centers primarily serving medically underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The organization promotes advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders within the U.S. and its territories.

Media Relations

Beverly Quintana
(510) 272-9536 x112
bquintana@aapcho.org

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