JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Health advocates are asking U.S. Senators to fund community health centers.

The Senate is considering funding the program that would provide healthcare to people at clinics like the Women’s Health Clinic in Canton.

According to the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association, the Federally Qualified Health Centers program grew extensively under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

However, for the first time in the program’s history, federal funding has lapsed.

MPHCA is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of 20 community health centers.

They said FQHCs in Mississippi provide care to an average of 300,000 residents annually. The services include medical, dental, behavioral health, and other services to those who might otherwise go without care.

The House of Representatives passed legislation called the Championing Healthy Kids Act of 2017 to fund the program, but the Senate must still stake up the issue.

MPHCA said that Mississippi community health centers and FQHCs traditionally receive strong support from our Mississippi delegation in Congress.

Sen. Thad Cochran’s office had the following to say about the funding:

“Senator Cochran remains confident that Congress will reach an agreement regarding reauthorization for community health centers.  He is supportive of this ongoing work and clearly understands the importance of these facilities to residents in Mississippi.”FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE HEALTH CENTER ADVOCACY NETWORK HERE.