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posted on Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Late March in the nation's capital featured pleasant weather, cherry blossoms on the verge of full bloom, and more than 80 South Carolina health advocates. They were there for the 2019 National Association of Community Health Centers Policy and Issues Forum in Washington March 27-30. The forum convenes annually as an opportunity for advocates to network with their colleagues in other states, take in valuable education sessions, and meet with members of Congress.
An exciting development took place when our CEO Lathran J. Woodard was invited by Congressman James Clyburn to speak at the introduction of his community health center funding bill on March 28. The legislation would extend the Community Health Center Trust Fund and National Health Service Corps for five years with a 10 percent annual increase in funding over the life of the extension. The Community Health Center and Primary Care Workforce Expansion Act of 2019 was co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
During the forum, attendees heard from such luminaries as former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, PhD, and NACHC President Tom Van Coverden.
The main action during this eventful week is on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, March 28, the state's CHC advocates met with each member of the South Carolina Congressional Delegation.
Due to some excellent advocacy work, five members of our House Delegation signed on to Dear Colleague Appropriations Letter. They include Reps. Joe Cunningham, Joe Wilson, James Clyburn, Ralph Norman, and Tom Rice. This is the most members to sign on in recent memory!!! Great work SC advocates!!!
We thank those who took time away from their families and health centers to attend this important event. Our presence during NACHC P&I shores up support and educates our delegation about the essential work of South Carolina's health centers.