BETHESDA, MD – Michael Holmes, the CEO of Scenic Rivers Health Services, a Community Health Center located in northern Minnesota, has become Chair of the Board of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). Mr. Holmes assumed the leadership during NACHC’s Community Health Institute (CHI) and EXPO in Orlando, FL, a hybrid national conference attended by health center leaders from around the country. NACHC is the leading policy and advocacy organization for Community Health Centers, which serves nearly 30 million people nationwide. Holmes’ tenure begins after an extraordinary year of health centers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in underserved communities and administering nearly 14 million COVID vaccines to hard-to-reach populations.
Mr. Holmes brings to the NACHC leadership post a wealth of experience and knowledge about health care and the medically underserved. He has testified before Congress numerous times, advocating for a strong primary care infrastructure and the need to support health centers as they are increasingly called upon to respond to public health crises, ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to natural disasters and the opioid use epidemic. Holmes has also served as NACHC Treasurer and past Parliamentarian, in addition to serving on the Finance and Health Policy Committees of NACHC, posts which help chart the future policy course of the Community Health Center Movement. Holmes also serves as Treasurer of the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers and chairs the Breakwater Health Network.
“Thousands of Minnesotans have benefited meaningfully as a direct result of Mike’s decades-long leadership in Minnesota, through their access to robust primary care services at Scenic Rivers Health Services,” said Jonathan Watson, CEO of the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers (MNACHC). “Additionally, Mike has been a constant policy advocate for health centers and their patients, in both Washington D.C. and Minnesota’s capital. He is a trusted collaborator to all health centers throughout the state, in their collective missions to serve low-income populations.”
Scenic Rivers Services (formerly Cook Area Health Services) was a single, modest site when Holmes took the helm over 40 years ago. The center now operates six medical clinics and four dental clinics in an 8,300 square mile service area and cares for 13,000 patients, many of whom are uninsured or covered by a federal health insurance program, such as Medicare or Medicaid.
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.