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Local Community Clinics With Lots At Stake Are Urging Patients To Participate In Census

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Local community clinics are worried that a combination of low census turnout, layoffs due to the pandemic, and increased Medicaid eligibility for people who've lost work could create a strain on resources for the clinics in years to come.

Among other factors, census data helps determine how much federal funding these clinics receive. So some community clinics are doing their own census outreach, urging patients to participate in the decennial count.

"We are in the middle of a pandemic and financial economic downturn, resources all around will be scarce and that includes funding for [federally qualified health centers] and hospitals," said Jennie Carreón, associate vice president of civic engagement for AltaMed, which is using portable kiosks to do its own outreach. "This is why it is so important that underserved communities fill out the census, so that we don't have additional social structural barriers to add to an already challenging environment."

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