National Health Center Week (NHCW) launches this week as new data show that more patients than ever –28 million– are receiving care at America’s Health Centers. The national week of observation runs from August 12th-18th with more than 1600 events planned in nearly all 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Community Health Centers, America’s largest primary care network, are in 11,000 communities across the country, providing care to over 13 million people living in poverty, 8.4 million children and more than 350,000 veterans.
As the home of America’s health care heroes, Community Health Centers boast a significant record of success that includes:
• Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings by making primary care more accessible and reducing hospital and specialty care costs.
• Serving on the front lines of many public health crises; in 2017 alone, health centers provided over 2.2 million visits for substance use disorder, including opioids.
• Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent.
• Serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of all Medicaid expenditures.
• Lowering the cost of children’s primary care by approximately 35 percent.
The theme of National Health Center Week 2018 is Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Health Care Heroes. More than 220,000 people work at health centers in positions that include – clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dentists and dental hygienists, behavioral health specialists, administrative support staff and much more. Working together, these health care heroes drive innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness, substance use disorders (including opioids), and other social determinants of health. It is their work that has helped reduce health care costs and reduce chronic disease, generating a record of success and, along with it, a long tradition of bipartisan support in Congress.
NHCW events scheduled across the country include health fairs, visits by Members of Congress and state officials to local health centers, press conferences, back-to-school drives, community breakfasts, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and dental cleanings, and much more.
To learn more about NHCW, including a list of events in your area and other tools and resources to help you celebrate America’s health care heroes, visit: www.healthcenterweek.org.
You can join the conversation using #NHCW18 and #CHCSuperpower on Twitter.