House and Senate sign "Dear Colleague" letters for health center funding

Congress has begun work on the FY25 appropriations process, including annual health center funding sign on letters. Learn more about this process and how you can advocate for health centers in today's blog!
Community health centers receive federal funding through the Community Health Center Fund, known as mandatory funding, and through the annual appropriations process, known as discretionary funding. The Community Health Center Fund, which is multi-year base funding for health centers, accounts for about 70% of federal funding. Health centers also receive about 30% of their federal funding through the annual appropriations process, with each fiscal year beginning on October 1.
Congress Passed FY24 Funding for Community Health Centers 
Congress passed both mandatory and discretionary funding for community health centers in March, providing health centers with an infusion for the remainder of the year. This effort occurred more than six months after the beginning of the 2023 fiscal year. For FY24, community health centers received $1.86B in discretionary funding. 
FY25 Appropriations  
Now that Congress has funded the government for FY24, it is turning its attention to the FY25 appropriations process. Each year, members of the House and Senate lead ‘Dear Colleague’ letters, which indicate support for health center funding. These letters are directed at the Appropriations Committees with jurisdiction over health center funding and describe the need for ‘robust’ community health center funding.  
This year, the House letter was led by Representative Bilirakis (R-FL) and Representative DeGette (D-CO). The letter garnered 281 signatures in the House, representing well over half of 435 House members. By signing on to the letter, these members are signaling they support investments in community health centers. From the Tennessee members of the House, Representative Rose (R-6) and Representative Cohen (D-9) signed on to this year’s letter.  
The Senate letter, which is being led by Senator Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Wicker (R-MS), has a deadline of May 10.
Please reach out to your members of the Senate and ask them to support the FY25 Dear Colleague letter for ‘robust’ community health center funding!
For more information about the appropriations letters, including resources and tools to support advocacy, visit