Harrisburg, Pa. – December 22, 2022 – Today, State Sen. Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) announced $10 million in funding for statewide mobile and community clinics to support health access in Pennsylvania.
With the support of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus, Senator Haywood secured this funding as part of the COVID-19 Public Health Equity Initiative (PHEI), made possible by State Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan. The PHEI recognizes the impact of the pandemic on medically underserved communities and makes strategic investments to ensure these disproportionately impacted communities have access to public health services.
“Health equity is health access,” said Sen. Haywood. “Funding and expanding mobile health clinics and community health centers will help communities to obtain access to health care across the Commonwealth.”
The $10 million in PHEI funding is divided into three categories, including $5 million for mobile health clinics to provide jobs (19 awardees), $3 million for health equity to improve accessibility (15 awardees), and $2 million for trauma-informed care to heal communities of color (11awardees).
As Democratic Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Health and Human Services Committee and a former member of Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, Sen. Haywood is a longtime advocate for health access. In 2021, he pushed for equity in the vaccine distribution in 66 counties across the state. Sen. Haywood increased access for Black and Brown Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities, non-English speakers, and residents in congregate care, jails, and long-term facilities.
Through his research on the task force, Sen. Haywood learned there was no formal registry for mobile and community clinics to show where services should be expanded. He successfully developed the first mobile clinic registry in the state.
In September 2022, Sen. Haywood co-hosted a virtual public hearing with Sen. Katie Muth (D-Berks/Chester/Montgomery) to discuss strategies to enhance statewide mobile health clinics and community health centers in Pennsylvania. During the hearing, Richard Rinehart, CEO, Cornerstone Care Community Health Centers, highlighted the importance of mobile clinics. “What we have discovered, and maybe unexpectedly, is that mobile has absolutely allowed us to connect with more people and patients and to intervene earlier, which is important to maintain people’s health and actually saves health care lots of money,” said Rinehart.
In December 2022, Temple Health President and CEO Michael Young and Lewis Katz School of Medicine Dean Amy Goldberg, sent a letter to Sen. Haywood to thank him for his support of their three mobile health units. “We are steadfast in our efforts to ensure that all our communities have an equitable opportunity to enjoy good health without constraint due to social or economic disadvantage,” wrote Young and Goldberg.
Sen. Haywood will announce local recipients of public health equity funding in 2023.