MATTESON – Congresswoman Robin Kelly is uplifting two constituents, Diana Veal of Kankakee and Dr. Lisa Green of Harvey as her virtual guests to President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress this evening. Diana Veal is a child care provider who has seen a decrease in enrollment due to COVID-19 and Dr. Green is CEO of Family Christian Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center providing care to underserved populations in Harvey and the Southland Communities.

The Joint Address, which is President Biden’s first speech to a Joint Session of Congress, marks the first 100 days of the President’s first term. In prior years, Members of Congress have invited constituents to join them as guests to such speeches. While COVID-19 safety protocols mean this year’s in-person attendance will be limited, Congresswoman Kelly is inviting Diana Veal and Dr. Lisa Green as virtual guests to honor their work for Illinois communities throughout the pandemic.

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“Diana and Dr. Green provide two of our most critical services – child care and healthcare,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “Each of these industries have been severely impacted by COVID-19, and I know that it has not been an easy year for Diana or Dr. Green. I am so grateful for their service to our communities here in Illinois, and that they have been able to receive help from the American Rescue Plan. I am looking forward to hearing more about President Biden’s plans tonight to help us build back better.”

“At my business, I have a motto that children are our specialty,” said Diana Veal. “President Biden has made the people his specialty. He has stuck to his word and done what he said he was going to do in terms of helping people during the pandemic. I am looking forward to the work he is going to continue doing to help our frontline workers who have been struggling so much.”

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“The American Rescue Plan has allowed us to fulfill the role of our brother’s keeper,” said Dr. Lisa Green. “It has allowed us to expand our COVID testing, reach out and educate our community, and deploy more teams to be able to reach our communities, not just for COVID, but for the other necessary health screenings they need. The American Rescue Plan is an example of ‘we the people’ coming together as a nation to ensure that there is fair and equitable access to healthcare for all Americans. I am looking forward to learning more about some of President Biden’s other priorities during his speech tonight.”

Dr. Green and Diana recorded messages about how they have been impacted by President Biden’s administration and the American Rescue Plan. Diana’s message is available here and Dr. Green’s is available here.

Child care providers, which are nearly all small businesses, overwhelmingly owned by women and disproportionately owned by people of color, have been hard hit by the pandemic and are struggling to provide essential services. The American Rescue Plan will provide nearly $1.3 billion in funding for child care providers in Illinois through the Child Care Stabilization Fund and flexible child care development funding. This funding will help providers like Diana Veal cover cost increases from the pandemic and continue providing a critical service to their communities.

The American Rescue Plan provides $269,917,750 to support 45 Illinois Health Centers, including more than $3.2 million for Family Christian Health Center in Harvey, IL. The funding provided by the Rescue Plan will support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond.

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