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Fewer COVID-19 Deaths and Infections in Areas Where There is a Community Health Center

Contact: Amy Simmons Farber 202-309-0338

There are fewer COVID-19 deaths and infections in areas of the country where there is a Community Health Center according to findings from NACHC and the Morehouse School of Medicine’s National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN). Health centers, which serve nearly 29 million Americans in nearly 1400 communities, are a critical component of the national vaccination strategy launched by the Biden Administration to ensure equity in the fight against COVID. Health centers have been vaccinating people who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic — essential workers, agricultural and migrant workers, public housing residents, the elderly and people experiencing homelessness. To date, health centers have provided more than 19 million COVID-19 vaccinations, with over two in three shots at a health center administered to people of color.

The joint analysis from NACHC and Morehouse School of Medicine’s NCRN compared the rate of infection and mortality from COVID in areas with a health center and areas without, determining that there are 200 fewer cases of infection and 9 fewer deaths per 100,000 people.

“We’re proud that health centers have met the challenge of the COVID-19 public health emergency,” said Ron Yee, MD, Chief Medical Officer at NACHC.  “They have saved lives and provided a trusted and safe place for families to get vaccinated and get answers and facts.  Health centers have been out in force, knocking on doors and administering the vaccines in farm fields, in mobile units, laundromats, schools, beyond the walls of the centers themselves, in the places where people congregate, live and work.  This unprecedented effort is making a difference in the two-year battle being waged against the spread of COVID and emerging variants.”

“Collaborative data analyses like these are possible through key partnerships like ours between NCRN and NACHC; these insights can be a catalyst for improved public health planning and COVID-19 mitigation strategies,” said Dominic Mack, MD, MBA, Professor, Family Medicine and Director of the National Center for Primary Care and NCRN at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Health centers are nearing the one year mark of administering vaccinations and more than two years of caring for non-acute COVID patients.  Their patients include 14.5 million people living in poverty, 2.9 million people 65 and older, 19 million people who are of minority background, 1.5 million homeless people.

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About National Association of Community Health Centers

Established in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) serves as the national voice for America’s Health Centers and as an advocate for health care access for the medically underserved and uninsured.

About Morehouse School of Medicine

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission—the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master’s degrees. To learn more about programs, please visit www.msm.edu or call 404-752-1500.

 

 

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