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May 21, 2020

Aguilar Announces $4.8 Million for Inland Empire Health Care Provider

Rep. Pete Aguilar announced that SAC Health System (SACHS) has received $4.8 million in Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to continue its work as a Teaching Health Center. The grant program, established by the Affordable Care Act, supports the expansion of community-based health care and allows regions like San Bernardino County to attract graduate medical residents to help provide primary and ambulatory care.

“SACHS plays an integral role in providing high quality health care to middle class and low-income families throughout the Inland Empire, and their physicians have been on the front lines of providing testing and treatment to help our region manage the coronavirus crisis. I’m proud to announce this funding, which will allow SACHS to continue attracting physicians to the Inland Empire, leading to better health outcomes for our underserved communities,” said Rep. Aguilar.

“SAC Health System has benefitted from Teaching Health Center grant funding continuously since July 2013. In the first few years, the funding was at real risk, so I traveled to Washington to meet Rep. Aguilar in his congressional office in 2015.  He listened patiently, asked clarifying questions, and has been a faithful supporter ever since. We have now received over $25 million in total, which has supported the education of 74 primary care doctors to date at SACHS. This funding is truly making a difference for our clinic and for our community,” said Kevin Shannon, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, LLU School of Medicine and Principal Investigator for the SACHS THC Program.

“When the COVID-19 outbreak started, I never could have predicted how it would change our daily lives. I was asked to be a part of the COVID-19 screening clinic and initially was hesitant. I was worried about being exposed to someone and possibly exposing my wife. But with further prayer and consideration, this is exactly the type of thing I wanted to be a part of. Meeting current needs of the local community, being able to give accurate information, and reassure and pray with the people we see is exactly what I want to,” said Dr. Eric Steele, who came to SACHS through the THC program. Dr. Steele is one of nine SACHS physicians assisting with COVID-19 testing.

Rep. Aguilar serves as Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, the committee responsible for allocating federal funds to agencies like HRSA.