Tuesday, September 22, 2009

LD29 lawmakers to tour new SE Tucson El Rio clinic

El Rio clinics help people.

TUCSON -- Sen. Linda Lopez, Rep. Matt Heinz and Rep. Daniel Patterson will be touring the new Southeast El Rio Community Health Center on Friday, Sept. 25 at 3pm at 6950 East Golf Links Road, Tucson. Media is welcome to join the tour.

"I am always interested in helping people with real solutions to our health care needs," Rep. Daniel Patterson said. "Arizona and the US need health insurance reform so all Americans can access quality health care whenever needed. El Rio has an honorable track record in Tucson of helping to make good health care accessible to all, including the uninsured."

“El Rio Community Health Centers serve as a vital health care component for the Tucson area, especially with rising health care costs and uninsured persons,” said Sen. Linda Lopez, Democratic Whip. “With recent state budget cuts to just over 10,000 people from the state’s health insurance statewide, we expect more people look toward centers such as these for primary health care coverage.”

"Access to primary and preventive medical care is an absolute imperative," said Rep. Matt Heinz, who is also a physician at Tucson Medical Center. "As a physician legislator, it is important to me to see how our health care facilities function together for the benefit of the community. It is critical that we find what works well and duplicate those processes."

The ground-breaking ceremony was held on December 16, 2008, and Rep. Patterson helped cut the ribbon when the facility recently opened in early August 2009. The non-profit El Rio Community Health Center serves the Tucson community by offering primary medical and dental care to more than 74,000 people annually. According to El Rio, the clinics serve over 1,000 people per day and in 2008, 75% lived at or below the federal poverty level and over 33,089 enrolled patients were children.

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