CEO Letter to Ask Congress to Restore COVID-19 Funding For Testing
April 5, 2022
My name is Raymond Embry, Chief Executive Officer for Embry Health in Mesa, AZ. I am writing to ask for your support to continue funding the HRSA program to ensure Arizonans and Americans have access to reliable and effective COVID-19 testing. Numerous studies have shown that easy access to affordable or free COVID-19 testing is our best defense to controlling the pandemic. Now more than ever, we are in dire need of the HRSA program to continue protecting the public. If Congress does not approve the current deal approved by the Senate, it is the same as declaring victory over COVID-19, and I think we can all agree the war is far from over.
Embry Health has locations in six states across the U.S. We have offered over 4 million tests and seen over 2 million patients. All patients were tested regardless of their insurance status – an incredible resource during these unprecedented times. Unfortunately, due to HRSA losing funding Embry Health has been forced to end free testing for uninsured patients. In the past, we have kept locations in rural Arizona open, such as Page, Naco, Benson, and Safford, to ensure everyone in Arizona had access to COVID-19 services. The decision to remove funding from this program affects patients, but it also has a negative cascading employment effect on organizations like ours. Embry has offered employment to more than 2,000 Arizonans throughout the pandemic who served as essential front-line healthcare workers when the economy was shutting down due to the virus.
We must keep this resource available to defeat and control this pandemic truly. Reinstatement of funding to the HRSA program is vital to the health and safety of millions of Americans, especially our communities here in Arizona.
Providing affordable and accessible healthcare for all is crucial to our community and us, and we hope you see the importance of our vision.
Thank you for your attention to these issues.
Raymond Embry Chief Executive Officer
4717 E. Hilton Ave., Phoenix, AZ 8503