Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $294,140 for Health Care Services in Webb and Zapata County

Federal funds will be used to deliver primary health care for communities and vulnerable populations

LAREDO | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), August 22, 2019

LAREDO,TX Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $294,140 in federal funding for health care services in Webb and Zapata county through the Gateway Community Health Center. Specifically, the Gateway Community Health Center received $167,000 through the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Center Cluster Program and $127,140 through HHS’s Health Center Quality Improvement Program. These federal funds will be used to deliver primary health care for communities and vulnerable populations in the area.


HCC / SUD-MH Program

Gateway Community Health Center received $167,000 through the Health Center Cluster Program. This program, overseen by the Health Resource & Services Administration (HRSA), helps fund health centers which focus on delivering care to our most vulnerable populations. More than 27 million people– 1 in 12 nationwide – rely on a HRSA-funded health center for affordable, accessible primary health care.


In addition, Gateway also received multiple awards though the Health Center Quality Improvement Program totaling $127,140. The specific awards are listed below:


  • $29,640-Clinical Quality Improvers (demonstrated at least 15% improvement on a clinical quality measure (CQM) from 2017 to 2018)
  • $20,000-Access Enhancers (recognized health centers that increased the total number of patients served and the number of patients receiving comprehensive services between 2017 and 2018.)
  • $22,500-Health Disparities Reducers (recognized health centers that met or exceeded the Healthy People 2020 goals, or made at least a 10% improvement across different racial/ethnic groups between 2017 and 2018.)
  • $5,000-Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality (recognized health centers that utilized five HIT services and/or telehealth services to increase access to care and advance quality of care between 2017 and 2018.)


Community Impact

Gateway’s community support system consists of United Independent School District, Laredo Independent School District, Serving Children and Adults in Need, and Border Region Behavioral Health Center.

Gateway will reach an estimated 16,000 residents from their service area, which spans from Webb to Zapata and Jim Hogg counties through this program. This widespread demand of services reinforces affordability and accessibility needs. These patient education services are, therefore, offered free of charge and no patient will ever be denied services because of their inability to pay.

“South Texas faces unique health care challenges. Texas has the highest uninsured rates in the country; specifically, in my district, 29 percent of all residents are uninsured. Our region also faces high rates of diabetes, substance abuse, mental health disorders, teen pregnancy, cervical cancer, obesity and tuberculosis,” said Congressman Cuellar. “These federal funds will ensure Gateway Community Health Center is able to provide underserved communities in Webb and Zapata county the healthcare and educational services they need. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fund community health clinics and medical centers, who are the back bone to delivering primary care and preventative care for low-income and vulnerable communities.”


“I would like to thank Gateway Community Health Center CEO, Elmo Lopez, Board Chairman Lauro García, and HHS for engaging in this critical mission, and for helping us take another step closer to a healthier community.”


Gateway Community Health Center CEO Elmo Lopez said, “Our 25 million patients across the nation and all of our clinicians and employees are grateful for this grant that allows us to continue to provide quality care for all. Congressman Henry Cuellar has always been a champion for Gateway and accessible, affordable healthcare for those most in need. Preventive healthcare and access to a primary care medical home will keep families healthier longer. Community Health Centers across the country care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay for services.”

Congressman Cuellar (TX-28) presents HHS Grant to Gateway Community Health Center, Inc. in Laredo on Thursday.