Bi-State Primary Care Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that promotes access to effective and affordable primary care and preventive services for all, with special emphasis on underserved populations in New Hampshire and Vermont. 




NH Health Protection Plan Expands Access to Health Care to 50,000 Residents 


MANCHESTER, NH – To help strengthen the health and economic security of thousands of hard-working New Hampshire citizens, Governor Maggie Hassan announced that New Hampshire residents may now apply for New Hampshire Health Protection Insurance coverage that will start on August 15. Applications can be submitted online at www.nheasy.nh.gov or www.healthcare.gov; by calling the Medicaid Service Center at 1-888-901-4999; by downloading a paper application at www.dhhs.nh.gov; or by visiting a NH DHHS district office.

“Our bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Plan is a historic step forward for the health and economic well-being of New Hampshire families, businesses and communities,” Governor Maggie Hassan said. “The most significant health care legislation for our state in decades, this fiscally responsible, uniquely New Hampshire solution will inject $2.5 billion in federal funds into our state’s economy while expanding access to health coverage to as many as 50,000 Granite Staters. This is an exciting moment because beginning tomorrow, people can start applying for this important protection, and in August, they will have the comfort and security that comes with access to affordable health care.”


Read full release from Governor Hassan's office.


Find Your Community Health Center in New Hampshire or Vermont



Bi-State's 2014 Primary Care Conference Features Experts in Population Health, Payment Reform,

Oral Health Integration, Accountable Care Organizations, and Board Governance 


FAIRLEE, VT -- May 13, 2014 -- Nearly 200 public health officials, primary care practice administrators, and physicians and clinical providers of medical, oral, and behavioral health care services, gathered for Bi-State's day-long Primary Care Conference at Lake Morey Resort on May 13. Keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, launched the program with an in-depth look at public policy decisions, socio-economic factors that impact public health, and introduced a toolkit for working at the community level to improve public health. Following Dr. Jarris, a panel of experts, Dr. Craig Jones (VT Blueprint for Health), Mary Vallier-Kaplan (NH Medicaid Expansion Commission), and William Gunn, PhD (NH-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency) explored the impact of payment reform on the medical home model of care. Professional education sessions included Maximizing the Impact of Your Dental Program (Dori Bingham, Program Manager-Safety Net Solutions, DentaQuest Foundation), Meeting New Challenges in Health Center Board Governance (Tess Stack Kuenning, CNS, MS, RN, President and CEO-Bi-State and David Reynolds, DrPH), and Accountable Care Organizations and Payment Reform (Robert Wheeler MD, CMO-BlueCross BlueShield Vermont), Kara Suter, MS, Director of Payment Reform-Department of Vermont Health Access, and Sharon Beaty, MBA, CEO-Mid-State Health Center and President, North Country Accountable Care).


Conference Presentations


Bi-State's Awards Ceremony, held during the conference lunch hour, recognized individuals who have improved access to primary care for the residents of New Hampshire and Vermont through extraordinary personal commitment and dedication.  


The Chair's Award

Bi-State's Board Chair Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Bi-State’s mission to ensure access to health care for vulnerable populations in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Vermont: David Reynolds, DrPH, Health Policy Analyst and Founder of Vermont's First Federally Qualified Health Center

New Hampshire: NH Medicaid Expansion Study Committee - James Varnum, Chair


The Public Service Award

The Public Service Award honors Vermont and New Hampshire individuals whose position allows them to make extraordinary contributions in the area of public health and primary care access.

Vermont: Kara Suter, MS, Director of Payment Reform - Department of Vermont Health Access

New Hampshire: Lucy Hodder, Esq., Legal Counsel - NH Governor Maggie Hassan


The Community Service Award

The Community Service Award honors individuals whose volunteer efforts have made a significant impact on the vulnerable populations in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Vermont: Mountain Health Center Board of Directors - Jill Mackler, Board Chair

New Hampshire: Walter Strauch - Founding Board Chair - Health First Family Care Center


The Outstanding Clinician Award

The Outstanding Clinician Award honors primary care clinicians from Vermont and New Hampshire whose exemplary skills and service have made a significant impact on the health of underserved patients and the community in which they serve.

Vermont: Claudia Courcelle, RN, Clinical Director - Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region

New Hampshire: Laura Fry, MD, Associate Medical Director Family Practice and Obstetrics - Manchester Community Health Center


Congratulations to all 2014 Bi-State Primary Care Association Award Recipients! 



Sen. Sanders, HRSA's Dr. Wakefield and Jim McCrae, Meet with VT Health Center Directors



Burlington Free Press:  Sanders, Federal Official Tout Health Clinics

17 Town Meeting Television: Senator Bernie Sanders: Primary Care in Vermont

VT Digger: Sanders Puts Focus on Primary Health Care


(L-R) Tess Stack Kuenning, Jim McCrae, Dr. Wakerfield, Sen. SandersBURLINGTON, VT (April 24, 2014) – Dr. Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, Jim Macrae, M.A., M.P.P., associate administrator for Primary Health Care, and Tess Stack Kuenning, CNS, MS, RN, president and chief executive officer of Bi-State Primary Care Association, joined Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for a meeting with the directors of Vermont’s Federally Qualified Health Centers on April 24 in Burlington. Dr. Harry Chen, Commissioner of the Vermont Department Health, state health officials, and representatives from other safety net providers attended the two-hour meeting. 


Sen. Sanders is focusing on improving access to primary care and workforce shortages across the country, including in his home state of Vermont. The Health Resources and Services Administration recently awarded FQHC status to Battenkill Valley Health Center, Gifford Health Care, and Mountain Health Center, bringing the total to eleven nonprofit FQHCs in Vermont operating 51 sites. The FQHCs currently provide primary and preventive health care to approximately 150,000 Vermonters.


Administrator Wakefield’s visit focused on medical, dental, and mental health care access and workforce needs, following on the heels of Sen. Sanders’ Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging hearing on primary care access held on April 9 in Washington, DC. Dr. Wakefield, Jim McCrae, and Tess Stack Kuenning toured Northern Tier Center for Health in Richford on Thursday and will tour the Community Health Centers of Burlington and Gifford Health Center in Randolph on Friday. Kuenning reports, “We are delighted to highlight for the state and federal officials the tremendous work of the Health Centers on behalf of their patients and communities.”


PHOTO CAPTION: (L-R) Tess Stack Kuenning, Jim McCrae, Dr. Mary Wakefield, Sen. Sanders



 2014 NEWS


In New Hampshire, Medicaid Expansion Becomes Law (KFF)


The Art of Compromise - NH Senate Bill 413


Supporting Health Care Reform in Vermont - Health Centers Meet with Legislators


Community Health Centers: A Smart Investment - NH Legislative, Business Breakfast


VIDEO: NH Community Health Centers: A Smart Investment 

Community Health Centers provide serve over 100,000 Granite Staters every year. The Community Health Centers are primary care practices that see everyone in their community including patients on Medicaid, Medicare, and commercially insured residents. The Health Centers offer a sliding fee based on income for those who are uninsured. 



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