For Immediate Release
May 25, 2016
Amy Simmons Farber
More than 300,000 veterans are receiving healthcare services at a Community Health Center, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).
Health centers, which began more than 50 years ago as part of the War on Poverty, have achieved an unparalleled track record in reducing mortality rates, developing programs for early screening and treatment of cancer, and managing chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Yet, it is their innovative work in addressing the whole health of patients, including the environmental, social and behavioral factors so often linked to poor health outcomes that make them a fitting solution for the complex health issues that our nation’s veterans often confront when they come home.
The number of veterans seeking care at health centers is expected to continue to grow as a result of the federal law that created the Veterans Choice Program (VCP). The VCP program, which is the centerpiece of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) efforts to expand its coordinated community care programs, allows health centers to open their doors to military veterans across the country in an effort to reduce excessive waiting times at VHA facilities. NACHC has produced a fact sheet about the program, including Frequently Asked Questions about how the program works, and who is eligible. The fact sheet can be accessed at this link.
Almost 800 health center organizations have been certified as a Veterans Choice Provider. Health centers not only are dedicated to caring for veterans, they are working hard to recruit them as part of their workforce. An initiative underway for over three years has resulted in more than 5,000 veterans being hired at health centers across the country.