LIMA, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today visited the Allen County Health Partners to discuss how more than $860,000 in economic recovery funds is being invested to create new jobs and expand medical services in Allen County.
“This is an example of what recovery dollars can do to put Ohioans back to work and strengthen a whole community,” Brown said. “Allen County Health Partners is creating new jobs now and ensuring residents have access to quality health care through this recession and in years to come.”
Brown was joined by Dr. Gene Wright, Allen County Health Partners Board President who detailed how the center has invested the $250,816 and $617,045 it received in two economic recovery grants allocated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to hire seven new staff members and construct four new examining rooms.
"The stimulus dollars will provide us the much-needed physical expansion with the addition of 2,750 square feet of space that will include 4 medical exam rooms and additional administrative office space,” Dr. Wright said. “This in turn affords us the opportunity to increase access to patients who continue to need medical care and will allow for a more efficient practice.”
Allen County Health Partners estimates that more than 50 workers from more than six local contractors were hired to construct the new space using primarily local materials. As a result, the center estimates it will be able to provide health services to an additional 20-30 people each day. In addition, Allen County Health Partners will be able to provide increased dental care to meet community need. While the center currently counts more than 1,000 residents on its dental waiting list, two new part-time dentists hired with recovery funds will be able to offer additional care.
Brown, a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, is a strong advocate in Congress for quality, affordable health care. Earlier this year, Brown successfully fought for the recovery package to include provisions from his original legislation, the Coverage Continuity Act, which was written to help displaced workers maintain their COBRA health coverage. The final version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a 65 percent federal subsidy to help these workers afford temporary COBRA health coverage. Brown has been leading the fight in the Senate for a public insurance option to be included in health reform. Brown’s provision outlining a public option was included in the reform bill the Senate HELP Committee passed in June.