U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,706,177 in federal funding for the Cornerstone Family Health Center. The funding was allocated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Service Area Competition (SAC). The funding will be used to provide essential primary and preventive healthcare services to underserved populations in Orange and Broome counties in Upstate NY. Cornerstone also serves the homeless and families in transition through their Healthcare for the Homeless Program as well residents of public housing through their Public Housing Primary Care Program. These much needed federal funds will support Cornerstone’s vital role in providing NY’s most vulnerable citizens with healthcare services.
“Cornerstone Family Health Center provides critical services to thousands of our most vulnerable citizens. This health center is a vital asset, working on the front lines providing essential access to medical care for those who need it most,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased to announce this $3.7 million in funding for Cornerstone and I pledge to continue fighting tooth and nail to ensure that medically underserved communities have access to the healthcare they need and deserve.”
“This is a major investment for Orange and Broome counties,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Quality health care must be accessible throughout our communities. This federal funding will help the Cornerstone Family Health Center increase accessibility to quality, affordable care for families and vulnerable populations in these communities.”
“Cornerstone Family Healthcare is beyond thrilled to have learned that our federal Section 330 funding has been renewed,” said Linda S. Muller, M.S., Cornerstone’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our federal funding empowers Cornerstone to build off of its 50-year history as a mission-driven organization that believes health care is a right and not a privilege. The renewal of this grant will ensure that the 26,000 men, women, and children we currently serve will continue to have access to essential primary and preventative health care services, while also ensuring that families in the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier regions of New York State will never have to forego care due to an inability to pay or lack of insurance.”
Cornerstone Family Healthcare was founded 50 years ago by volunteers who wanted to provide basic healthcare to migrant workers in Orange County. Today, Cornerstone provides over 24,000 adults and children in NY with comprehensive healthcare services. In addition, they provided primary and preventive healthcare services in the form of over 210,000 patient visits. The vast majority of Cornerstone’s patients are some of NY’s most vulnerable citizens. In 2015, 62 percent of patients earned an income that was below 100 percent of the poverty level and 65 percent reported income below 200 percent of the poverty level. Furthermore, more than 1 in 4 of its patients are not proficient English speakers, and 64 percent are reliant on public health insurance in some form. The medical services Cornerstone provides include pediatric medicine, internal medicine, women’s health, dental care, urgent care, and behavioral health services, and more. Cornerstone plans to establish 7 new clinical sites across upstate NY.
SAC was established by HHS to ensure that vulnerable populations currently served by the Health Center Program have access to comprehensive quality health care services. Organizations eligible for SAC funds include public or nonprofit entities, tribal, faith-based, and community-based organizations, which serve an announced service area with culturally competent and quality primary health care services.