WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s legislation that would provide $15,000 to GoochlandCares — a local nonprofit organization and free clinic with a mission to provide healthcare to elderly, low-income, and disabled Goochland residents — to increase access to healthcare in Goochland County.
The funding for Goochland County — which Spanberger successfully secured as part of a House-passed fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations package — would be used by GoochlandCares to purchase a second van for its transportation program, increasing the program’s efficiency and the number of people that can be transported to healthcare appointments, the pharmacy, and additional health-related destinations each day.
“To narrow the rural-urban health gap and improve access to healthcare services in our rural communities, the value of enhancing transportation services cannot be overlooked. GoochlandCares provides an invaluable service to the Goochland community, and with the funding allocated by this project, more patients will have access to the quality healthcare they deserve,” said Spanberger. “I am proud to have worked directly with local leaders in Goochland County to secure this funding, and I thank GoochlandCares for their commitment to making patient-centered care available across Goochland County. Since coming to Congress, I have made it a priority to bring federal resources home to our Central Virginia communities. I am encouraged that the funding for this project was passed today in the U.S. House, and I will continue working to move this funding forward, through the U.S. Senate, and to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”
“Goochland, a rural county, 40 miles long, has no public transportation, severely challenging access to healthcare services, food, clothing, and other basic needs. These demographic and rural factors create profound isolation, poverty, and transportation needs that prevent many from knowing what services are available and from having the means to physically reach the point of service,” said Sally Graham, Founder and Executive Director, GoochlandCares. “This funding will support GoochlandCares’ transportation program which provides rides for County seniors, disabled, and low-income individuals to healthcare appointments and medical related destinations (i.e. pharmacy) and other GoochlandCares programs. Because GoochlandCares services are the main transportation resource for our clients, this program is critical to maintaining our community’s health and well-being.”
“We are extremely grateful for the support and advocacy of Congresswoman Spanberger on behalf of Virginia’s network of free and charitable clinics who play an important role in safeguarding the state’s underserved populations,” said Rufus Phillips, CEO, Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. “If funded, the Goochland Cares Transportation Project will enable greater access to critical healthcare services for vulnerable residents of that community who would otherwise go without.”
Access to transportation is a key social determinant of health in rural Goochland County, and the funding allocated in this project would allow GoochlandCares to increase its reach and serve additional patients.
The FY2022 appropriations package now goes to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.
This year, the U.S. House of Representatives implemented a new effort as part of its annual appropriations process, which allowed for specific Community Project Funding requests — like the GoochlandCares transportation program enhancement. Spanberger worked directly with community leaders in all ten counties of the Seventh District to gather community-focused requests for her submissions. Click here for a full list of her submissions.
The Community Project Funding process was created to ensure that Members of Congress, in concert with the communities they represent, may submit direct applications for federal funding to support locally planned projects as part of the yearly appropriations process. To be eligible, projects must be sponsored by local or state government entities or non-profit organizations and must be projects that would otherwise meet the qualifications to apply for federal grant funding. The purpose of Community Project Funding is to ensure direct, local engagement as part of the federal appropriations process. In line with this goal, funding applications must demonstrate significant local support for the projects.
Spanberger has consistently worked to secure funding for Central Virginia projects that would create new jobs, make infrastructure improvements, and strengthen the local economy. Recently, she joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House in voting to pass the INVEST in America Act, which includes more than $22.7 million in federal resources for Central Virginia transportation and infrastructure projects that Spanberger successfully secured in the legislation.