Encourage elected officials to support the Health Center Fund


I am concerned about inaction of our governing bodies.  On September 30, several programs vital to the health of our community were allowed to expire to include the Community Health Center Fund. While the health center program has had strong bipartisan support for over 50 years, there is current inaction for continued short- and long-term funding.

Our local community health center, Community Health Partners (CHP), provides critically needed medical and dental treatment in Gallatin and Park counties. I know that CHP improves the health of our communities. We collect data to monitor the health of our patient populations and we show improvement in measured health outcomes. CHP is one of the few parts of our “health care system” that actually work.

As Dental Director for Community Health Partners, I am bracing for the loss of 70 percent of our federal funding.  Without a community health center dental practice, many of my patients would go to the only other place that doesn’t turn patients away: the emergency room. They wouldn’t receive definitive care like extractions or fillings, however, but simply antibiotics that would delay their problems. The emergency room care model is expensive and inefficient for a community and devastating to many community patients.

Please contact Senator Steve Daines, Senator Jon Tester and Representative Greg Gianforte to support the re-authorization of the Health Center Fund so that the most comprehensive primary care system in the state continues to provide critical access to healthcare to Montanans.

Joanna Wales