Durbin: Crusader Community Health To Receive $5.3 Million In Recovery Act Funding

[ROCKFORD, IL] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Crusader Community Health in Rockford today to announce the organization will receive $5.3 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known informally as the Stimulus bill. The funding will be used to construct a new site in Loves Park, to continue their renovation of unused space at an existing site and will allow the clinic to serve 4,500 additional patients on an annual basis, Durbin said.


The Crusader Community Health network now serves multiple counties in northern Illinois including Boone, Winnebago, and Stephenson, and provides care to over 40,000 individual patients annually in the region. More than 600 new patients register for Crusader care monthly.


“Crusader is experiencing an increased demand for care that warrants the development of a new clinic to improve access to care. More medical and dental visits are provided now than any other time in our 37 year history. The number of visits by uninsured patients rose 45% for March 2009 compared to March 2008”, noted Gordon Eggers Jr., President & CEO, Crusader Community Health.


Plans are to construct a new facility to accommodate four medical providers-a Family Practice Physician, a Pediatrician, a mid-level medical provider, a dentist and specialty clinics including OB/GYN, podiatry, pain management. The new health center will be built on vacant land near the vicinity of North Second Street and Clifford Avenue, Loves Park, as a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified building.


In addition, the federal funding will be used to renovate space in the Crusader Community Health on Broadway-Uram building, Broadway & 7th Street, to accommodate a new Call Center, an education center, sidewalk repair and staff lunch room. The Call Center will greatly improve access to care as patients will be efficiently scheduled for their appointment and calls answered more timely. This is especially critical as the clinic is experiencing an increased demand for care that provided over 167,000 visits to patients in 2008.


“Community health centers are an invaluable resource for families across the nation. With this federal funding infusion we’re doing two important things: giving Crusader Community Health the ability to expand their services and provide critical care to an additional 4,500 patients in Northern Illinois; and giving the local economy a shot in the arm with the economic activity the project will generate,” said Durbin.


The Crusader grant was part of the Obama Administration’s announcement of $508 million in Facility Investment Program grants to 85 community health centers nationwide to address the pressing needs of health center facilities and expanded their capacities to serve an additional 500,000 patients.


Durbin noted that the Senate-approved health care bill makes a $10 billion investment in community health centers. That unprecedented federal support is expected to create 10,000 new health centers across the nation. Today, Illinois health centers manage 350 sites to serve 1.1 million patients a year. These centers had 4 million office visits last year alone. The bill’s emphasis on expanding community health centers is expected to create 400 community health centers in Illinois, more than doubling of the number of health centers we have today.