The network of Community Health Center advocates has now surged to over 100,000 people across the country, up from 80,000, in just 100 days. The increased number of health center supporters is a result of the National Association of Community Health Centers’ (NACHC’s) 100K in 100 Days initiative, which launched in late May. There are now 101,230 advocates signed on to support the Campaign for America’s Health Centers as Congress returns to work, and health centers confront significant funding challenges ahead.
“Reaching over 100,000 advocates is a significant benchmark,” said Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President for Policy at NACHC. “Our growing ranks of supporters demonstrate our shared success as a movement that has for over five decades built healthy communities and activists who believe in health care equity. They stand ready to protect and expand America’s Health Centers and ensure access to care for the millions of patients they serve.”
The network of health center advocates has been growing steadily, as have the number of patients. The number of health center patients has increased by 42 percent since 2008. Health centers now serve 25 million people nationwide, or one in 13 Americans. Yet, the future growth of the program is uncertain. Health centers face a funding cliff with a reduction of up to 70 percent if Congress fails to act before October 2017. A key rallying point for health center advocates to lawmakers will be to secure funding for the program and ensure Health Centers are able to continue fulfilling their mission to care for all those in need of care and to continue expansion of affordable primary care services in medically underserved communities.