A New Era for National Service and the Community HealthCorps




APRIL 21, 2009

Jason Patnosh

President Barack Obama signs the Kennedy Serve America Act

Washington D.C.  – Today President Barack Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law, ushering in a new era of national service. The new law, which comes as the economic downturn has ramped up demand for social services, reauthorizes the Corporation for Community and National Service and expands Corporation programs through 2014 to help needy communities. Once the landmark law takes effect on October 1, 2009, it will initiate programs that foster new opportunities in volunteerism and strengthen existing service programs. A few highlights include:

  • Expanding positions in AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 Americans by 2017;
  • Granting a larger education award for students saddled with college debt by increasing the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award and aligning it with the Pell Grant student loan program; and
  • Focusing national service to more communities in need through the creation of a new Healthy Futures Corps and four other Service Corps – Education Corps, Clean Energy Corps, Veterans Corps and Opportunity Corps.

President Obama’s signing of the historic law follows on the heels of his call for passage of national service legislation before a joint session of Congress. The legislation received strong bipartisan support in both Houses of Congress.

Community HealthCorps National Director Jason Patnosh praised the legislation in letter to the editor published last week in USA Today. He wrote, “The Kennedy’s Serve America Act… will go a long way to inspire and increase the number of people and organizations who come together for the common purpose of making our communities stronger. We know it works.”

For more information about the new law and volunteer opportunities, please visit the new web site launched by the Community HealthCorps at www.communityhealthcorps.org.

Founded in 1995 by the National Association of Community Health Centers, Community HealthCorps is the largest health-focused, national AmeriCorps program that promotes health care for America’s underserved, while developing tomorrow’s health care workforce. Approximately 650 Community HealthCorps members serve in 35 partner organizations and 4 affiliate organizations at more than 150 delivery sites across 16 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information about Community HealthCorps, please visit www.communityhealthcorps.org.

Founded in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance and expand access to quality, community-responsive health care for America’s medically underserved and uninsured. NACHC represents the nation’s network of over 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) which serve more than 18 million people through 7,000 sites located in all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. NACHC’s website is www.nachc.com.

~ by marbleroad on April 21, 2009.

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