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N.M. Delegation Welcomes Over $1 Million to Expand Developmental Screening for Children, Address Nurse Shortage in New Mexico

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) are announcing $1,050,000 in federal funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve New Mexicans’ access to quality, affordable healthcare by growing the number of nurses in medical practices across the state and providing funding for increased screenings and follow-up services at two local community health centers for children ages 0-5. 
"Every person deserves access to quality, affordable health care in their community,” said Heinrich. “This funding will be instrumental in giving local community health centers the tools they need to keep our kids healthy, while investing in New Mexico’s nursing workforce to better meet the health care needs of all New Mexicans.” 
“Access to quality health care allows every New Mexican child and family the opportunity to thrive,” said Luján. “That’s why I’m proud to welcome these grants bolstering the nurse workforce and growing community health centers’ capacity to provide early-age health care. This investment provides a lifeline for communities, fosters wellness, and creates a healthier New Mexico for tomorrow and beyond.”
“Everyone deserves affordable, quality health care, no matter where they live,” said Leger Fernández. “These funds will help provide resources for our communities who often lack access to care. I’m grateful these funds invest in our nurse workforce, and will also help provide screenings and services to keep our children healthy.”
“New Mexicans deserve top-quality healthcare,” said Stansbury. “I am thrilled that New Mexico will get this crucial funding to bring more nurses to the workforce and allow expanded screening at clinics for children.”
“Our state is facing a health care worker shortage that is negatively impacting communities and the future health of New Mexico,” said Vasquez. “We must continue to invest in our health care system – especially in rural communities like Hatch – so that New Mexicans have access to their health care needs no matter where they live.”
The HRSA awarded funding to the following Community Health Centers to improve developmental outcomes among children ages 0-5 through increased screenings and follow-up services: 
  • $200,00 to Ben Archer Health Center, Inc. in Hatch, N.M.  
  • $200,000 to Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe, N.M. 
The HRSA awarded the following amount through the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce program:
  • $650,000 to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences 
About HRSA’s Health Center Program
Health centers provide comprehensive, high-quality primary health care services tailored to their communities regardless of their patients’ ability to pay. HRSA’s Health Center Program is a cornerstone of our country’s health care system, especially for individuals and families who are uninsured; enrolled in Medicaid; living in rural, remote, or underserved areas; struggling to afford their health insurance co-pays; experiencing homelessness; residing in public housing; or otherwise having difficulty finding a doctor or paying for the cost of care.
Today, the approximately 1,400 HRSA-funded health centers operate nearly 15,000 service sites. In 2022, health centers provided care for more than 30 million patients, including 1 in 5 residents in rural areas and 1 in 11 people nationwide. Health centers are funded through multi-year mandatory funding and annual discretionary appropriations. Both are set to expire at the end of September without congressional action, causing disruptions in care and services for individuals who rely on this essential network.:
About HRSA’s Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Program
The purpose of the program is to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives trained and prepared to provide primary care services, mental health and substance use disorder care, and/or maternal health care. Grants support the training and graduation of advanced practice registered nursing students/trainees in these disciplines. Awardees will provide tuition and other eligible supports to trainees, build academic-clinical partnerships to facilitate clinical training, and continue to develop and sustain clinical faculty and preceptors as needed.