Washington, DC -- The House of Representatives approved Representative Mikie Sherrill’s (NJ-11) and Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) bicameral and bipartisan legislation yesterday, introduced with Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), to reauthorize the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2F HICs) program for five years. Sherrill’s bill was included in another bipartisan package of bills, H.R.3253, and passed the House and Senate unanimously as the renamed “Sustaining Excellence in Medicaid Act.”

 

These family-staffed centers provide guidance and support to families of children with special healthcare needs. F2F HICs help families access information about the healthcare resources, treatments, and services available for their children.

 

“I am proud both the House and Senate unanimously agreed to support Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, and I urge the President to swiftly sign this bill into law,” said Representative Sherrill. “Family-to-Family Health Information Centers provide families of children with special healthcare needs with the tools and assistance necessary to effectively navigate our nation’s complex health care system. The continuity of funding provided through this bill will enable F2F HICs to retain experienced staff, engage in future planning, and continue to empower and support children and families in New Jersey and across the country.”

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The F2F HIC in New Jersey has helped families across New Jersey, including in Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Sussex Counties, obtain health resources and access care. F2Fs HICs are staffed by highly-skilled, knowledgeable caregivers who have first-hand experience and understanding of the challenges faced by families of children with complex health needs. These uniquely qualified staff provide critical support to families caring for children with special health needs, particularly families from diverse communities. F2F HICs provide families with the information, skills, and confidence they need to support and advocate for their children.

 

Last year F2F HICs, which are in every state and the District of Columbia, have provided information to close to one million families.

 

The legislation now heads to the president’s desk for a five-year reauthorization.