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Montana Health Care Leader Elected Board Chair of National Association

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 6 Montana native and health care leader Lil Anderson, CEO of Deering Community Health Center Billings, MT, has been installed to the post of Board Chair of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). Ceremonies took place at NACHC's 38th Annual Convention and Community Health Institute last month in Dallas, TX, which drew thousands of health center representatives from around the country. In her inaugural address, Anderson underscored the need to expand the Health Centers Program to address the needs of the 56 million Americans currently struggling without access to health care services.

"If health reform is to have any chance of success, it must be coupled with a primary care delivery system that can expand access and realize savings in health and prevention," Anderson said. "Insurance coverage alone is not enough. I can assure you as Board Chair of NACHC, I will do everything I can do to shape the health care debate around the health center model, which is to provide a health care home for every person in America and enough doctors and nurses for all medically underserved communities."

Anderson took office just as the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) announced $61 million in new health center grants to help medically underserved and uninsured Americans. The Yellowstone City-County Health Department, which collaborates with the Deering Community Health Center, will receive $443,000 through this funding to begin new health centers in the rural Montana communities of Bridger, Joliet and Worden, and a health information technology plan that will link health care for the homeless projects in Billings, Missoula, Helena and Butte.

"Community Health Centers have received significant federal investment from the Congress, amounting to more than $900 million over the last six years," said Anderson. "We have grown and expanded--1200 new sites and service expansions, serving 6 million new patients to a total of 16 million nationwide...but strong and ongoing investment in health centers is needed to address America's unmet growing health needs."

A registered nurse, Anderson has over 30 years of experience in community health programs on the national and state level and has distinguished herself as an outspoken advocate on behalf of the medically underserved. She has served on task forces and committees appointed by several Montana governors to focus on improving health care throughout the state. Anderson also served on a Department of Health and Human Services task force created to implement the President's initiative to expand health centers and double the number of patients served.

SOURCE National Association of Community Health Centers
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