National Health Center Week 2020 kicked off today with a recognition of the innovative work that Community Health Centers are carrying out on the frontlines of COVID. As part of the nationwide celebration of events, NACHC joined longtime philanthropic partners BD and Direct Relief for a virtual bell ringing event hosted by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
As part of the event Tom Van Coverden, the President and CEO of NACHC, joined the leaders of both organizations to discuss how health centers are caring vulnerable populations during the pandemic and how the private sector can provide critical resources and support as centers confront a host of challenges, including uncertainty about funding and operating margins stretched to the limit.
“Our health centers have been critical to keeping non-emergency cases out of our already overburdened hospitals while maintaining care for patients with chronic conditions and behavioral health needs,” said Van Coverden. “All of this has been done without adequate reimbursement. The pandemic is taking a huge financial toll on our centers. Thousands of sites have been forced to close. Health centers need at least $7.6 billion to keep their doors open through November. Congress has been helpful with limited funding –but, it’s not enough. Many health centers are still at risk.”
NACHC has been working with Direct Relief and BD to advance vital resources and tools to help vulnerable communities. Today’s NYSE event coincides with BD’s launch of the “BD Helping Build Healthy Communities program” and a commitment of $7.8 million in monetary grants and product donations over the next three years. The privately funded philanthropic initiative allows health centers to expand access to care and services in their local communities.
“Philanthropic investments from the private sector are more important than ever to ensure our Community Health Centers remain a vital component of the health care landscape in the United States,” said Tom Polen, CEO and president of BD. “There has perhaps never been a more important time for the private sector to consider philanthropic investments in health centers. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on patients served by these centers, and on their staff. It has also caused health centers to collectively lose billions in revenue since March of this year — during a time when our country needs them more than ever.”
“This initiative aligns perfectly with the heart of Direct Relief’s much broader work, which focuses on equipping health professionals in resource-poor communities around the world to meet the challenges of diagnosing, treating and caring for their patients,” said Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe.
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To view a webcast NYSE event please visit this link.