LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and Congresswoman Susie Lee (D-NV) toured the First Person Care Clinic in Henderson and discussed their Maximizing Outcomes through Better Investments in Lifesaving Equipment for (MOBILE) Health Care Act and other efforts to increase access to quality, affordable health care in Nevada, especially in rural and historically underserved communities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and demand for accessible, affordable health care, and nonprofit clinics like First Person Care are critical to providing quality medical services in our communities,” said Senator Rosen. “There are still too many areas in Nevada that don’t have consistent, reliable access to even the most basic primary care services. Increasing the number of mobile health units can help close the gap by expanding access to care for more underserved communities that don’t have the population to support full-time health centers.”
“Throughout the course of this pandemic, it’s become clearer than ever that we need to do more to break down barriers to affordable health care,” said Representative Lee. “Federally-Qualified Health Centers are often the only option for Nevada families, and with this bill, we’ll be able to help community health centers expand into communities that have traditionally been hard to reach.”
“First Person Care Clinic is committed to ensuring that quality health care is accessible in all communities, including more rural areas,” said Roxana Valeton, CEO of First Person Care Clinic. “With funding from the American Rescue Plan, we will now be able to acquire a second mobile health unit and better accomplish our goal of expanding access to primary care to more patients from Henderson to Laughlin and deliver COVID-19 vaccinations to more Nevadans. We appreciate our elected officials for their support, particularly Senator Rosen and Congresswoman Lee for their hard work on improving health care and their much-needed bipartisan legislation which would help us further invest in additional mobile health units to expand our reach. Thank you for hearing our voices and standing up for community health centers like ours and the families we serve.”
BACKGROUND: Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan Maximizing Outcomes through Better Investments in Lifesaving Equipment for (MOBILE) Health Care Act in March, and Congresswoman Lee introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the House in August.
This legislation would expand the allowable use criteria in the New Access Points Grant program to include part-time mobile clinics and renovation, acquisition, and new construction of health centers within the program to increase access to affordable, accessible, quality health care services in rural and underserved communities. The bill would allow for greater flexibility of use of the grants awarded to community health centers so each health center can use funds to meet their own specific needs and improve care delivery for those in their communities.
Community health centers like First Person Care provide affordable care to more than 29 million patients, including 385,000 veterans and 8.7 million children nationwide. Currently, there are small and rural communities in Nevada and across the United States that do not have the population base to support full-time health centers and therefore do not have consistent access to primary care services.
The MOBILE Health Care Act is endorsed by the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Nevada Primary Care Association.