Bilirakis Lauded As Champion
Washington, DC: A group of health care advocates were on Capitol Hill today to present Congressman Gus Bilirakis with a special award for his efforts to ensure continued access to health care for millions of Americans. The Champion Award given by the National Association of Community Health Centers recognizes exemplary and continuous legislative leadership and advocacy on behalf of the 25 million patients who utilize Community Health Centers throughout the nation. “We are so pleased to present this award to our good friend Congressman Bilirakis. He has been such a strong and vocal supporter of community health centers. We can’t express our appreciation enough for all his untiring efforts, most of all authoring the important bill to fund the health centers,” said Mr. Andrew Behrman, President and CEO of the Florida Association of Community Health Centers. Supporters of community health centers from around the state of Florida, including Elodie Dorso from the Community Health Center of Pinellas were on hand for the presentation. Bilirakis, who has a long history of championing common sense health care solutions, lead the charge to ensure that these centers remain a viable option in which the insured, uninsured and underinsured can receive high quality primary care, mental health and dental care. His provision reauthorizing funding for community health centers was signed into law earlier this year.
“I am humbled to receive such a prestigious award. Community Health Centers are an example of what is working in our health care system. They have a proven track record and have historically enjoyed widespread, bi-partisan support. Ensuring that my constituents and millions of other patients around the country continue to have access to the vital services they provide was a top priority for me this Congress. I am proud we were able to get it across the finish line. I will continue to fight for robust community health centers. In fact, I have recently introduced legislation that will expand Veterans’ access to community health centers. I believe community health centers may offer valuable options for Veterans who do not currently have access to dental care through the VA or who live in rural communities and have to drive long distances to get to their closest VA facility,” said Congressman Bilirakis.