NACHC Statement on the Passing of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye
Joint Statement from Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO, and Kauila Clark, Board Chair, The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
We are saddened to learn the passing of U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye – a great patriot, a courageous veteran who served his country with distinction and heroism, and a passionate national leader who championed the cause of society’s forgotten, vulnerable, and medically underserved. Community Health Centers have lost a great friend, and the world is indeed a different place without his legendary wisdom and conscience prevailing over the halls of the Senate.
Throughout his 48 years in office and during his tenure on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Inouye worked hard to increase the federal investment in health centers, noting more than once that they are “a vital part of our health care safety net and help families that have difficulty finding reliable, affordable health care.”
Senator Inouye was also an enduring advocate for health centers and affordable health care in his home state of Hawaii. “No member of our community should be denied access to quality health care because they cannot pay for it or they live in a rural area of Hawaii. The mission of Community Health Centers is to make sure that anyone needing medical attention receives it in a timely fashion and we in government must do all we can to support such a benevolent endeavor,” he said.
For his leadership and unwavering dedication to health centers and the people who depend on them for care, Senator Inouye was honored numerous times with the NACHC “Distinguished Community Health Champion Award.”
We offer our condolences to his wife, Irene, his son, Daniel Ken, and to everyone who, like us, has lost a towering champion for their cause.