National Health Center Week has arrived and once again we’re excited to celebrate community health centers (CHCs) and all that they do. Every year, in August we take time to appreciate the valuable work of CHCs and how they care for communities. The theme for this year’s National Health Center Week is ‘The Chemistry for Strong Communities.’
CHCs can trace their history back to the early 1900s, created with the goal of improving the health of communities. Through consistent government action, CHCs became the essential healthcare providers that they are today, serving over 30 million people in need from communities across the United States.
What is National Health Center Week?
National Health Center Week is a week-long celebration of CHCs and all that they have done for their communities, recognizing CHC success stories and the high-quality care they make accessible to populations in need, including community, migrant, homeless, and public housing centers. This celebration, sponsored by NACHC, has acted as a useful tool in spurring public support for community health centers by showcasing what they do and how crucial they are to the well-being of underserved communities.
CHCs serve as a powerful force in communities across the nation, ensuring those most in-need receive equitable care. According to a recent study by NACHC:
- CHCs provide more value-driven care compared to private practices
- CHCs save 24% per Medicaid patient compared to other providers
- CHCs perform better on ambulatory care quality measures than private practice physicians
- CHCs provide more preventive services than other primary care providers
- CHCs save $1,263 per patient per year
National Health Center Week is the time to honor all that CHCs have done, and in recent years, the US Congress has worked to expand this recognition and provide additional monetary support. For instance, in 2019, governors, mayors, and other local governing bodies, issued endorsements of health centers in their efforts of expanding access to affordable and quality care.
CNECT and The Health Center Partners Family of Companies
We’d also like to take the time to honor our parent company, Health Center Partners of Southern California (HCP), for their success in working to support CHCs. HCP has worked collaboratively with its CHC members for over 44 years to assist in improving operational efficiencies and delivering high quality care with the goal of improving the well-being of Southern California families.
HCP and its member clinics have had resounding success towards their mission, including:
- Saving the health care system $1.8b
- Providing 690K patients with medical care
- Providing behavioral health services to over 50k patients
- Lowering Medicare Costs by 24% per patient
During COVID-19, HCP played a vital role in local response. As the COVID-19 pandemic imposed new pressures on an already strained system, HCP helped to develop the public health response through informed discussions on how the county could utilize health center facilities to conduct testing. HCP helped to ensure a coordinated process in expanding COVID-19 testing and treatment throughout southern California. Through this collaboration between HCP and its member clinics, a strategy for county-wide testing was developed and executed within 48 hours. Between April 2020 and July 2021, HCP member health centers tested 181,086 community members for COVID-19.
How You Can Get Involved in Celebrating National Health Center Week
This week-long event is broken up into different days of appreciation focusing on specific areas of the community. This year National Health Center Week is broken up into the following categories:
- Sunday, 08/08: Public Health in Housing Day
- Monday, 08/09: Healthcare for the Homeless Day
- Tuesday, 08/10: Agricultural Worker Health Day
- Wednesday, 8/11: Patient Appreciation Day
- Thursday, 8/12: Stakeholder Appreciation Day
- Friday, 8/13: Health Center Staff Appreciation Day
- Saturday, 8/14: Children’s Health Day
Looking to take part? You can help community health centers in receiving additional federal funding by advocating for them. We look forward to celebrating and supporting community health centers with you!