October 16, 2000

Health Care Focus of Clinton's Syracuse Visit

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As Cornell students basked in the unseasonably warm October weather this past weekend, First Lady and New York Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled throughout Upstate New York on Saturday, stopping in Syracuse to speak to participants at a health fair.

Accompanied by her daughter Chelsea, Clinton made a brief visit to the Southwest Community Center’s Health Screening Fair in downtown Syracuse to make remarks on health care issues. This was Clinton’s second visit to the center, including an earlier visit with husband Bill.

“She is interested in seeing our community and seeing that they receive good health care,” said Odie Freeman, coordinator of the Health Fair and Minority Veteran Coordinator at Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center.

Both New York Senate candidates were invited to come to the health fair to see the need for continuous support and help the minority community receive better health services, according to Freeman.

Clinton began her speech by remarking “I was in the neighborhood so I thought that I would drop by.”

The audience of approximately 150 community members listened as Clinton explained, “I want to help you get the services, tests and information you need. I believe that health care is a right and a service we need to provide to all of our people,” she added.

Clinton expressed concern regarding the accessibility of medical care to infants and children and cited various programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, that are already in effect to provide youngsters with health care. Clinton advocates increased health benefits for people aged 55 to 65 years, in addition to senior citizens.

“I will go to the Senate to fight for the needs of the elderly,” she remarked.

Clinton also mentioned the need to end the stigma toward viewing mental health as an unusual disease and to adopt a patient’s Bill of Rights where doctors and nurses are put back in charge of the delivery of health care.

She concluded by advocating allocating more money for medical research in areas such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism and diabetes.

“I thought she was right on the money concerning health,” said Emma Bryant, a Syracuse community member.

Prior to her stop in Syracuse, Clinton had spoken with senior citizens in Rochester and made remarks at a Breast Cancer “Rock-A-Thon” in Cicero, New York.

Archived article by Rachel Pessah