Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel announced that $417,600 in federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services for Refuah Health Center to expand school-based health care programs established by the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Engel said, “In my district, school-based health centers are vitally important.  Even the high school from which I graduated has a wonderful center. It is the kind of program that we should be promoting and replicating.

“This grant is part of a $95 million nation-wide program to add some 440,000 patients to the approximately 790,000 patients now being served in the program,” said Rep. Engel. “Locally the money will allow Refuah to expand its current facilities or establish new sites. Refuah has been providing and expanding its health care facilities to serve more of Rockland and is committed to providing quality health care for all.”

"We are thrilled to be able to expand these vital healthcare services and deeply appreciate Congressman Engel for his support,” said Chanie Sternberg, President and CEO of Refuah Health Center. “This is just another example of Congressman Engel's tremendous leadership in the fight for affordable and accessible healthcare for New York and for entire country."

The grant is part of the $200 million set aside by the Affordable Care Act to be appropriated to school-based health centers between 2010-2013. This funding is part of the first round of the grants program.         

“This funding is an important step to providing quality health care for all Americans, regardless of economic standing,” Rep. Engel said. “The $95 million is being awarded to 278 school-based health center programs across the country.”

Rep. Engel fought repeated attempts by the Republican House majority to rescind the Affordable Care Act and its funding for the school-based health centers.

“Despite all of this early success of the Act, the Republican majority in the House has spent their first months in power voting to repeal it and put insurance companies back in charge of health care,” said Rep. Engel. “If they had their way, insurance companies could arbitrarily deny coverage to sick children, community health centers would be defunded, and people would have fewer options to prevent disease rather than having to treat deadly illnesses after they are contracted.”