Community health centers are a vital resource for millions of Americans, providing affordable, high-quality, equitable care to the safety net population. August 7th, 2022 marks the beginning of this year’s National Health Center Week, an annual celebration that recognizes the importance of health centers and celebrates their continued hard work and achievement.
The Impact of Health Centers in the U.S.
Millions of people across the U.S. are unable to afford private health insurance. For them, community health centers are a lifeline, and often the difference between leading healthy, fulfilling lives and being encumbered by ill-health and debilitating conditions.
According to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), health centers serve 1 in 11 people in the U.S., including 1 in 8 children, 1 in 5 uninsured people, and 1 in 3 people in poverty. 79% of health center patients are uninsured or publicly insured, and they suffer from chronic conditions at higher rates than the general population.
The work of health centers is vital to so many, and their care is also cost effective and of a high standard. They deliver more value-driven care compared to private practices and perform better on ambulatory care quality measures than private practice physicians. Health centers also save 24% per Medicaid patient compared to other providers and save $1,263 per patient per year.
National Health Center Week
The goal of National Health Center Week is to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. For 2022, the celebration is being used as an opportunity to honor frontline providers, staff, and patients who have lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Health Center Advocacy Network, which organizes National Health Center Week with the support of NACHC, is encouraging people to light a candle for the community health leaders and patients that we lost. They say:
“As we commemorate those lives and celebrate the future of community health, let’s shine a light across the country that will embody the future of primary healthcare access for underserved populations. Shine a light on your community health center and share the value that it brings to everyone who it touches.”
CNECT’s Relationship with Community Health Centers
National Health Center Week is particularly important to CNECT and its Family of Companies. Our parent company, Health Center Partners of Southern California (HCP), is a primary voice and healthcare policy advocate for community health centers throughout Southern California.
The HCP team works tirelessly to champion the cause of its members and their communities and to support health centers in delivering quality care to the safety net population. We’re extremely proud to be part of an organization that is a force for good, and to count more than 850 community health centers among the CNECT membership.
How You Can Get Involved
Each individual day of National Health Center Week 2022 is dedicated to a different area, so you can design your celebrations to fit the schedule. For this year’s event, the schedule is as follows:
- Sunday, 8/7: Public Health in Housing Day
- Monday, 8/8: Healthcare for the Homeless Day
- Tuesday, 8/9: Agricultural Worker Health Day
- Wednesday, 8/10: Patient Appreciation Day
- Thursday, 8/11: Stakeholder Appreciation Day
- Friday, 8/12: Health Center Staff Appreciation Day
- Saturday, 8/13: 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!