Congressman Johnson stops by Valley View Health Center to give and receive honors
By Phillip Buffington
Published August 16, 2016
U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) made a special visit to Jackson's Valley View Health Center recently to both present and accept honors. This trip was in conjunction with Ohio's celebration of National Health Centers Week (August 7-13), which is designed to raise awareness of the community clinics that provide high quality, cost-effective healthcare to economically underserved areas.
Congressman Johnson's visit to the Jackson site Tuesday, August 9 was his first. After a brief meet and greet outside, Valley View staff provided a guided tour of the facility, which afforded the congressman the opportunity to learn a bit more about the site's day to day operations.
In addressing his audience, Johnson stated he believes a lot in what community health centers provide.
"Some 72 percent of the people that get their healthcare at community health centers are under the federal poverty line," Congressman Johnson said. "Those are low-income folks that have nowhere else to go for healthcare."
He further explained over 22 million Americans currently utilize the services offered through community health centers and expressed his pride in supporting such establishments.
"I've been very, very honored to participate in advancing and advocating for funding to make sure community health centers get what they need."
At Valley View specifically, Johnson stated he is excited to see expansion plans coming together. He was referring to the recent expansion dollars granted to the site in June, which have increased comprehensive dental services to the area. Near the end of the congressman's visit, he read an official proclamation which he presented to Valley View Health Center from the U.S. House of Representatives. Aside from highlighting the crucial role community health centers play across the nation, the proclamation also specifically addressed the years of service provided by Valley View on the local front.
"With multiple locations, Valley View Health Centers have been providing community health services to the people of southern Ohio for more than 30 years," Johnson read, "offering services including pediatrics, geriatrics, prenatal care, and nutritional care with payments that are calculated based on family income. Their work has been vital to the health and well-being of the community."
After accepting Congressman Johnson's kind words, the Executive Director of the Community Action Committee of Pike County, Keith Pitts, presented some kind words of his own on behalf of Valley View, in the form of a Distinguished Service Award. Pitts stated the award was meant to celebrate Johnson's "continuous dedicated service and outstanding support of health centers" while fulfilling his duties as congressman.
With regards to Pitts' presentation, Johnson replied, "This is very meaningful. I'd be lying to you if I didn't tell you that it feels really good when the people that you represent see and know first-hand the work that you're doing to try and do the right things."
In closing, Congressman Johnson told the crowd he will be returning to Jackson during the Apple Festival with his wife and son, and encouraged community members to stop and say hello should they cross paths.