Doug Jones to visit Rural Health Medical Program next week

Published 10:39 pm Thursday, February 15, 2018

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

United States Senator Doug Jones is planning an upcoming visit to the Dallas County area where he will receive a tour of the Rural Health Medical Program’s new facility.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 2-2:45 p.m., Jones will get his first look at Rural Health’s pride and joy that provides five different services to their patients.

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In addition to receiving a tour of the soon-to-be open medical facility serving multiple counties, Jones will also meet with the CEO of Rural Health, Keshee Smith, as well as other community leaders, city officials and architects.

The meeting comes on the heels of health leaders across the nation going to Washington D.C. on Monday, Feb. 5 to push for their members of congress to meet with their constituents.

The lobbying efforts were also to encourage congressmen and congresswomen to support House Resolution 3770- known as the Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence (CHIME) Act- which would extend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to fiscal year 2022 and increase funding for local community health centers.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, representing Alabama’s seventh district, has voiced her support for HR 3770 along with Sen. Jones. Sewell was present for the groundbreaking for Rural Health’s new facility located at 101 Park Place.

Although not being able to make it for the groundbreaking, Smith believes Jones’ visit next week will provide ample time to speak with the senator on issues they find important and show him around.

“This will give us more one-on-one time with Senator Jones to discuss the health disparities in Dallas County and other counties,” Smith said.

“Both Mrs. Sewell and Mr. Jones want a meeting to discuss a plan. This bill calls for public support to health care funding with local health centers.”

According to a letter on the Health Center Advocacy Network’s website, there are three major health organizations that HR 3770 could positively affect.

These organizations are the Health Center Program, National Health Service Corps and the Teaching Health Centers Program.

HR 3770 has passed the Senate, but not yet the House of Representatives.

According to Smith, Rural Health’s new facility will be open to the public in July.