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HARRISBURG - U.S. Rep. John Shimkus will be honored Friday in Harrisburg for his role in expanding health care access to uninsured and underserved individuals.

The National Association of Community Health Centers will present Shimkus, R-Collinsville, with the "2011 Community Health Defender Award."

Shimkus will be getting the award at 3:15 p.m. in the Harrisburg Community Health Center, 205 W. Main St. It will be presented by Fred Bernstein, director of Community Health & Emergency Services, Inc. and current chairman of the Illinois Primary Healthcare Association.

The award is given each year to members of Congress who work to increase the number of community health centers around the country that provide care to people without insurance.

In addition to serving as the health care home for more than 20 million people in 8,000 communities across the country, the health centers also generate $24 billion in annual savings to the health care system by keeping people out of hospital emergency rooms, officials say.

 

 

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