National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week 

August 7-13 is National Health Center Week – an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.

We want to celebrate you and applaud our Community Health Centers in Indiana!!! Each day of the week is assigned a special celebration, and we’re sending out a message to our members to mark each day. 

August 7 – Public Health in Housing day

In today’s value-based care environment, organizations are accountable for improving health outcomes and lowering costs. To achieve these goals and succeed in such an environment, organizations need to better understand their patients to address both their clinical and non-clinical needs and impact the root causes of health, including patients’ health behaviors, health outcomes, and health costs.

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August 8 – Healthcare for the homeless

Although all health centers provide care to people with limited incomes, the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program provides targeted funding to meet the needs of those living without stable housing. Collectively, health centers serve 1.3 million individuals experiencing homelessness each year, with about 1 million of these individuals served by the 300 health centers that receive HCH funding.

People who experience homelessness incur a number of health issues on the streets or in shelters, and being without housing can exacerbate current health conditions. People without homes endure higher rates of chronic and acute disease, behavioral health conditions, and other needs that make them particularly vulnerable to poor health, disability, and early death. HCH’s provide high-quality, comprehensive primary and behavioral health care, case management, outreach, and other supportive services to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Due to the nature of homelessness, services are intentionally provided in trauma-informed ways that provide healing, choice, safety, and trust while honoring consumers as partners in care and experts in their own lives.

National Health Center Week is a time to honor and celebrate the work being done at HCHs and to advocate for policies that end homelessness by providing comprehensive housing and health care as a human right. Learn more and find ways to get involved with HCH day on the National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s page or by contacting Katherine Cavanaugh, Consumer Advocate at the National Health Care for the Homeless Council at [email protected] or 443-703-1320.

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August 9 – Agricultural Worker Health Center Day

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the passage of the Migrant Health Act, the landmark agreement that sowed the seeds for what would later become the Community Health Center Program. Community health centers serve approximately 20% of the estimated 4.5 million Agricultural Workers in the United States. Health center staff members, community health workers, clinicians, executives, consumer board members, and Ag worker advocates have come together to develop more effective strategies to increase access to care for migratory and seasonal agricultural workers and their families through the Ag Worker Access Campaign.

The Campaign was launched in 2015 in partnership between the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH). The Campaign’s goal is to increase the number of Agricultural workers and their families served in health centers to 2 million. Migrant Health Program grantees and community health centers, in general, are critical to ensuring access to quality primary and preventive care for patients who might otherwise go without care. Join us in celebrating this milestone anniversary and Agricultural Worker Health focus day!

Consider these resources and ideas in recognition of Agricultural Worker Health Center Day this year:

  • Visit the Ag Worker Access Campaign webpage to download tools and resources to integrate the Campaign and the Migrant Health Program’s 60th Anniversary into your health center week events.
  • Visit the NCFH’s website for resources, tools, and archived webinars to learn more about and better serve this vulnerable population.
  • Host a mobile health screening and health fair event –  organize an event on-site with partners in your community to reach agricultural workers onsite at their workplace.

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August 10 – Patient Appreciation Day

By law, Community Health Center boards must be comprised of at least 51% community members.  Community board members are individuals who live in the community served by the health center, and our patients represent others who are served by the health center in terms of demographics such as race, ethnicity, and gender.  The model works because it ensures that patients represent the needs and voices of the community. Today, we celebrate patients and community board members who keep health centers accountable and abreast of community needs.

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August 11 – Stakeholder Appreciation Day

Health centers have a proud tradition of support from both sides of the political aisle. Bipartisan support continues to be beneficial for advocacy and policy priorities. Legislative support on both sides is not limited to the federal level, state and local support for health centers are also integral to their success.

Enhance your National Health Center Week celebrations by engaging legislators and legislative staff. Whether it’s your Congressional delegation, your state legislators or your county/local officials, or their staff, NHCW provides an excellent opportunity to show your appreciation for policymakers at your health center.

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August 12 – Health Center Staff Appreciation Day

The incredible value Community Health Centers bring to their patients and community is because of the diligent work of health center staff and volunteers – individuals who are committed to providing high-quality care to patients in need. Community Health Center staff and volunteers are dedicated to the Community Health Center Movement and deserve to be recognized.

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August 13 – Children’s Health Day

More than 8 million children in the United States get their primary health care from a Community Health Center. Without a doubt, the timing of National Health Center Week lends itself well to engaging the youngest members of our communities as they prepare to return to school. From well-child checks to book drives to fun runs, health centers host events that will help children feel healthy, happy, and empowered now and in the future.

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