Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved $200,000 in federal funding for the expansion of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center at a new site. The funding is included in the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which now heads to the U.S. Senate.


“This funding will provide a significant boost for health care in Brockton,” said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch.  “Together with Mayor Harrington, I’m pleased to deliver some great news for the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center.  Because of the accessible, high quality care that the health center is known for, demand for its services has risen significantly.  This federal funding, coupled with additional funding that the BNHC has secured, will allow it to serve many more families in need.”


The Brockton Neighborhood Health Center’s new facility, which will be located within a federally designated Medically Underserved Area, will offer a “one-stop shop” for local families.  It will have expanded space, consolidated services and a pharmacy on the first floor.  In addition to enabling the BNHC to serve more patients, the new site is expected to provide economic benefits to the community by creating jobs and redeveloping a blighted area.


Earlier this year, after consulting with Mayor James Harrington, State Senator Bob Creedon, State Representatives Geraldine Creedon, Thomas Kennedy and Christine Canavan, and Sue Joss, Executive Director of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Congressman Lynch approached Democratic and Republican leaders on the House Appropriations Committee to formally request federal funding for the renovation and expansion of the Health Center.  Congressman Lynch was notified that the funding would be included in the final House version of the bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the House Thursday, and will now be sent to the Senate for its approval.


Congressman Lynch pledged to work with Senators Kennedy and Kerry to protect funding levels throughout the process. "We are extremely fortunate to have Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry going to bat for us in the Senate. Brockton is well-served to have both of those gentlemen to champion this cause in the U.S. Senate.”


The Brockton Neighborhood Health Center began providing services in 1994 in a mobile medical van operating out of a church parking lot.  Since then, the center has rapidly grown to a multi-site clinic providing desperately needed medical and dental services to low-income families in Greater Brockton.  The health center currently offers preventative and specialty health care services to more than 12,000 patients, and provided more than 61,000 patient visits in Fiscal Year 2006.  The expansion of the BNHC at its new site will allow it to provide more than 97,000 patient visits by the year 2010.


Lynch added, “Sue Joss and the doctors, nurses and staff at BNHC have created a health care center for Brockton’s families and children that is second to none.  I am grateful that the federal appropriators recognized their good work, and the urgent need that the Neighborhood Health Center serves. This federal funding will help to ensure that many more residents of Brockton are able to take advantage of this wonderful resource.”