Christie increases funding to community health centers

October 01. 2012 2:12PM

Gov. Chris Christie announced today an additional $10 million in funding is included in the 2013 fiscal year budget for community health centers, bringing the total funding amount to $50 million.

State health commissioner Mary O’Dowd (left) today announced additional funding for community health centers with Gov. Chris Christie. (Tim Larsen / Office of the Governor)

There are 105 community health centers in New Jersey, including 20 Federally Qualified Health Centers. These centers serve as part of the “safety net” for the uninsured and underinsured. Often, the community clinics serve as primary care providers for those who would otherwise resort to emergency rooms for care.

Christie made the announcement at the Zufall Health Center in Dover Township, which has a patient population made up of more than 70 percent uninsured individuals. State funding is the single-largest source of revenue for the Zufall Health Center, according to its president and CEO Eva Turbiner.

Health commissioner Mary O’Dowd said the additional funding is in “recognition of the important role our health centers play in the health of their community.”

“The positive effect community health centers have on women, children and the elderly cannot be understated,” said Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-Randolph). “The patients who visit these facilities appreciate the critical care they receive and the accessibility they afford.”