Press release from the Office of Gov. Rick Perry

HOUSTON - Speaking to an audience of medical professionals and community leaders at the Ibn Sina Community Medical Center, Gov. Rick Perry today emphasized the importance of changing societal paradigms from hospital-based care to encouraging preventive care.

The governor also touted the state's efforts to decrease the number of uninsured Texans by creating a health insurance assistance program for those individuals who cannot afford it on their own.

"Together with philanthropic organizations like the Ibn Sina Foundation, Texas is making great strides to ensuring health coverage for those uninsured Texans who need help the most," said Gov. Perry.

In his 2007 State of the State Address, Gov. Perry proposed, and the Legislature passed, an innovative approach to reducing the number of uninsured Texans. The program is designed to increase the percentage of Texans with health care coverage, focus on prevention, and emphasize consumer choice in health services.

Specifically, the program helps individuals below 200 percent of the federal poverty limit purchase health insurance through employer-based programs or private plans by paying a portion of the premium cost. This initiative will decrease the number of uninsured Texans, and promote ownership of personal health care.

Ibn Sina Community Medical Center brings affordable, high-quality preventive medical care to the immigrant and indigent communities in Houston. Patients receive immunizations, health screenings, low cost lab services, and prescriptions are given free of charge if they are available. The center expects to serve more than 13,000 patients this year.

"The Ibn Sina Community Medical Center plays an important role in this community, promoting preventive health care and positive lifestyles to all the lives they touch," said Gov. Perry. "Efforts like this exemplify the best of the human spirit and advance our common goal of achieving a happy and healthy Texas."

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