News & Press: Press Releases

OACHC Applauds Governor’s Investment In Ohio’s Future

Friday, March 15, 2019  
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Ohio’s executive budget hits on many of Ohio’s Community Health Center priorities; misses on primary care workforce

The Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC) applauds Governor DeWine’s commitment to Ohio’s future, especially the focus on mental health and substance use disorder services, infant and maternal vitality, increasing access to care via telehealth services, and expanding services for Ohio’s youngest and most vulnerable. 
“Ohio’s Community Health Centers are uniquely positioned to lead on the full integration of primary care with behavioral health, substance use disorders, and prevention initiatives in our network of advanced, modernized primary care settings,” says President & CEO Randy Runyon, “Approximately 75 percent of Health Centers in Ohio now provide Medication-Assisted Treatment onsite and have integrated behavioral health into their primary care practices.” 
We commend the Governor on keeping with his promise to invest in the health and well-being of Ohio’s children through funding to combat infant mortality, expanding home visiting programs, programming for wellness and health in schools, and services to support recovery. 
“Health Centers across the state have been pioneers of evidence-based practices to improve infant, child, and maternal health. We look forward to partnering with the state to enhance our proven record of delivering high-quality, low-cost health care, coupled with a strong presence in impoverished urban neighborhoods, small towns and rural counties,” says Chief Operating Officer Julie DiRossi-King.
While OACHC applauds Governor DeWine’s efforts in helping Ohio’s youngest and most vulnerable, OACHC is disappointed with the dramatic cut to the FQHC primary care workforce program. Over the past four years, the program has exposed Ohio medical, dental, and behavioral health students to a team-based, advanced patient-centered practices. At a time when the nation, Ohio included, faces critical shortages in primary care workforce, compounded by a maldistribution of providers, this successful program is increasing the quality and number of primary care providers in Ohio. 
“While we fully support the emphasis on workforce in the Governor’s proposed budget, we believe Ohio will miss its mark by eliminating the FQHC primary care workforce initiative,” says Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ted Wymyslo.  “Investments in recruiting and retaining the next generation of primary care providers will ensure that many of the Governor’s priorities, namely two of our public health crises: the opioid endemic and infant mortality are sustainable for the future of Ohio’s health.”