Weekly Update: Visiting Samaritan Medical Center; Announcing Significant Funding for North Country Hospitals; Working with USDA To Include Apple Farmers in CFAP; Announcing Grant Funding
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Visiting Samaritan Medical Center, Announcing Significant Funding for Glens Falls Hospital and St. Lawrence Psychiatric Hospital
Yesterday, I had a great visit to Samaritan Hospital in Watertown, where I was able to meet with and thank the incredible doctors, nurses, therapists, and hospital staff for their hard work and dedication throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I will continue to advocate tirelessly for direct funding to our rural hospitals and health centers located across the district, who have gone above and beyond to serve their communities during this challenging time.
Last week, I announced through a Zoom press conference that Samaritan Medical Center will be receiving $2.5 million in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS.) I worked to write a new formula for HHS to use to ensure that rural hospitals receive adequate funding. HHS accepted the formula and used it to determine this new funding for Samaritan Medical Center. This $2.5 million in funding for Samaritan Medical Center will prove critical as our rural hospitals continue to recover from revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring our hospitals are fully recovered and operational to continue to serve my constituents is my top priority.
Additionally, I am proud to announce that Glens Falls Hospital will be receiving $4.1 Million in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This will help Glens Falls Hospital recover from revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Lawrence Psychiatric Hospital will also be receiving $3.9 million in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS.) I was honored to advocate for this funding, which will have a direct benefit on psychiatric and mental health services in our region. Ensuring our hospitals are fully recovered and operational to continue to serve my constituents is my top priority. I will continue to work to secure real results for these facilities and all North Country hospitals. Read more here.
Visiting Springbrook Hollow Farm and Distillery
On Tuesday, I toured Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery, a great NY-21 local business who adapted to COVID-19 by producing hand sanitizer for their community. I was able to tour their facilities and present them with a Congressional Certificate honoring their work. It is great to visit our small businesses who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic to provide adapt and provide for their communities.
Following My Advocacy, Apple and Specialty Crop Producers Are Now Eligible for CFAP
I have announced that following my advocacy, USDA published new rules for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) last Thursday that now make apple and select specialty crop producers eligible for the funding beginning July 13th. In June, I led a letter along with Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), requesting that apple producers be deemed eligible for CFAP funding. Following their letter, USDA has made the necessary changes to include apple producers in CFAP funding. The North Country is home to many apple producers who help feed our communities and boost our local economies. Given the market disruptions that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, our apple and specialty crop producers deserve to be included in this important USDA program as they get back on their feet. I am proud to advocate on a bipartisan basis with my upstate New York colleagues to make this essential change, and I will continue to work on behalf of our North Country farmers. Read more here.
Encouraging Census Participation
If you have not already, be sure to fill out your 2020 Census. The census determines how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into our communities, including NY-21, which will directly fund our police departments, firefighters, schools and more. In mid-April, the Census Bureau began mailing the paper questionnaire to homes that have not yet responded online or by phone. If you receive mail through a P.O. Box, the Census Bureau will not be able to send you a response form, as they require your physical address to count you at the place where you live. Only a complete street address will help the Bureau accurately count you in the right place. If you cannot receive mail at your home, a Census Bureau worker may deliver a questionnaire, leave information about responding, or interview you. You can complete the census online at my2020census.gov. You can also call the Census Bureau at (844)-330-2020. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to keep all of your reported information confidential. Visit my website here for more information.
Announcing $600,000 in HHS Grants for Jefferson County and Massena
This week, I announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a $300,000 to the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County and $300,000 to the Police Activities League of Massena. These HHS Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Grants (SAMHSA) will support the Healthy Jefferson County initiative and the Police Activities League of Massena Partnerships for Success Project. SAMHSA grants support programs designed to prevent and treat mental and/or substance use disorders. They also aim to improve access and reduce barriers to high-quality health care for individuals who experience or are at risk for these disorders, as well as for their families and communities. These organizations do very important work in helping our North Country communities address alcohol and substance abuse issues. I am proud to announce this important funding that will be put to good use and help these groups in their efforts. I have personally met and spoken with constituents from the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse providers of New York State, and I understand the need for significant additional funding for agencies providing addiction services to offset revenue losses and additional expenses resulting from COVID-19. There is also additional need for services resulting from the growth of the opioid epidemic and other addiction problems, and I will continue to deliver direct funding to the North Country in order to fund those initiatives. Read more here.
Announcing Over $700,000 in USDA Rural Development Funding for Four North Country Towns
Today, I announced that four North Country towns will be receiving USDA Rural Development investments to help with infrastructure improvements, business development, and other projects. The Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program has awarded $202,000 to the town of Burke to purchase a new plow truck, $209,000 to the town of Constable for a new plow truck, $217,000 to the town of Waddington for a new plow truck, and $89,000 to the town of Huevelton for a new loader and snow pusher. I am excited to announce this USDA funding to be awarded to our North Country communities, as it will play an important role in assisting our communities with their investments and projects, and I look forward to seeing the impact it has. I will continue to advocate for direct, impactful funding for our area at the federal level. Read more here.
County Public Health Resources
Clinton County: (518) 565-4840
Sending Letter to Treasury and SBA Requesting PPP Improvements
This week, I sent a letter along with my House colleagues requesting administrative action on behalf of the Department of Treasury and SBA in order to allow small businesses to seek an increase in their PPP loan if they are entitled to a greater amount than they received. In some instances, small businesses have received a final PPP loan amount, only to have the amount of assistance they are eligible for an increase from the SBA and Treasury. Our North Country small businesses have benefited greatly from PPP funding and other SBA programs. I am proud to continue to advocate for changes and flexibility with these programs at the request of many of our seasonal businesses and sole proprietors, who are entitled to more compensation. I will continue to work on their behalf and request that all small businesses are able to access the full funds that they are entitled to. Read more here.
Cosponsoring the American Farms, Food Banks, and Families Act
I am an original cosponsor of the American Farms, Food Banks, and Families Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA). This legislation creates a specific USDA position to empower farmers and ranchers to more easily donate food to enhance food security and the strength of the food supply chain. This new “Agriculture Supply Chain Administrator” is charged with developing efficiencies and addressing the key challenges within the domestic agriculture food supply chain. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light many of the gaps along our food supply chain, and our farmers and food banks have really risen to the challenge in order to provide for our communities. Still, there are roadblocks that hinder our producer’s abilities to donate their products. This legislation will help USDA identify regulations and statutes that hinder this process, and more easily link our producers to food distribution organizations. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help secure our food supply chain and ensure that farmers who are looking to donate locally can do so in a productive and efficient manner. Read more here.
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