He showed how important it is that the men and women who make up the small towns in America are really part of the — maybe the — our national identity, they most reflect how we identify ourselves around the world.
And really, first and foremost, we’re here today for the purpose of trying to help everyone in this clinic, and everyone in this community, reclaim your vital role in our society. We’re here to try to make rural America stronger, and this is just one of many examples across this great nation.
We understand that the health of small towns like yours is essential for our nation’s well-being, as well as it is to help big cities like Charlotte and other cities. It’s essential — it’s essential — that small towns, rural towns be healthy, and are growing, and have access to everything that is needed for the well-being of their citizens.
And we understand that as we write a new chapter in our history as a nation, small town America will have to be one of its most prominent authors. Because what was said a little bit earlier — I’m not sure who said it actually, but that this is a — this health clinic, we think, and health clinics across America, these are the future. This is the model that I think you’re going to see much more replicated than anything else.
So it’s not merely that, in my view, we’re able to at a federal level help rural America and help rural health clinics, or health clinics generally, but it also, I think, is likely to serve as sort of a laboratory for how things can get done more efficiently, and how health care can be delivered more accurately, rapidly, without mistake, and with quality.
And so we’re not here just to see that rural America survives through this difficult recession we’re in, but that it thrives as we come out of this recession. And I’m standing in a textbook example of just how to make that happen; how the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act is already serving families and creating more jobs is evidence — is going to be evidenced right here in this clinic. You don’t have to look any further than this clinic to see the recovery in action.
With more than $635,000 in recovery funds — and you can thank my colleagues behind me for that — the center will be able to increase its staff, including two more doctors, and two more nurses who will now be able to serve nearly 5,000 additional patients, new patients beyond roughly the 41,000 — is that right, 41,000 — 45,000 that was served this past year; 1,500 of whom — of these new patients will have no health insurance, and some 20 percent of them will be children.