TVHC CEO Andrea Schwab-Galindo Meets With U.S. Secretary of Health
and Human Services Xavier Becerra
On Thursday, March 10th, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, met with TVHC CEO Andrea Schwab-Galindo, Union City Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci, Fremont Mayor Lily Mei, and fellow Union City public health professionals for a panel discussion about the White House’s plan for COVID-19 response, investments in mental health services, and funding workforce development.
During the panel, TVHC CEO Andrea Schwab-Galindo discussed the work TVHC has done with its own COVID-19 response, including 86,000 vaccinations, Food Distributions, and the work of our Promotores, Behavioral Health Team, and our Street Team.
“I will do everything I can to support you, hearing that your health center performed 86,000 vaccines is impressive,” said United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra. “Health Centers like yours are how we have been able to increase vaccine equity amongst Black, Latin, and Asian communities.”
Andrea used her time on the panel to thank Secretary Becerra for his support, and the investments that have been made in health centers.
She also shared the challenges we’re facing: severe workforce shortages, lack of stable and long-term funding, and uncertainty with telehealth flexibilities – she shared that without a plan for a permanent policy change, or at the very least two years to provide certainty for health centers, it would be disruptive and will have adverse consequences on our patient population and workforce.
Andrea also advocated for capital improvements and workforce funding, continued reimbursement at the PPS rate for Telehealth visits for our patients, the CONNECT for Health Act (H.R. 2903/S. 1512), and Protecting Access to Post-COVID 19 Telehealth Act (H.R. 366). These bills modernize the healthcare delivery system and establish payment parity for telehealth services.
She also talked about SB966, as an example of a workforce bill that would help us to expand reimbursable healthcare providers to make the current ASW and AMFT allowance permanent, permitting health centers to hire and bill for ASWs and AMFTs, without the need for a scope change.
In his closing remarks, Becerra responded to Andrea by stating, “We are going to continue to work with you and support you in getting the help you need.”
Stay tuned for more TVHC advocacy updates.