Health Center News, Uncategorized

National Health Center Week Kicks Off — And What a Kick Off It Is!

By Amy Simmons

National Health Center Week 2010 (NHCW) has started a flurry of events taking place across the country.  One important event happened today in Washington, D.C. at the Center for American Progress (CAP).  CAP issued a new paper that focused on Community Health Centers as economic engines and held a briefing.   Featured panelists included (left to right in the photo), Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Research,  at NACHC; Rebecca Keen-Fan Sze, Director of Women’s Health at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY; Stephanie Kenyon, Chief Operating Officer at the Loudoun Community Health Center, Leesburg, VA; and Ellen-Marie Whelan, Senior Health Policy Analyst at CAP.  The event was broadcast live on C-SPAN.   NACHC also issued a new NHCW fact sheet highlighting how health centers are leading the way in the primary care revolution under the Affordable Care Act.  This is just the start of what will be a national celebration of health centers from coast to coast.  And the celebration started early with a Presidential Proclamation issued by President Barack Obama.

“During National Health Center Week, we recognize the important work of Community Health Centers for their role in providing quality, accessible, and affordable patient care as we strive to build a health care system equipped for the 21st century,” said the President.

And on the heels of the Presidential Proclamation came the teletown hall meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. Mary Wakefield, Administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  Nearly three thousand listeners took part in the call and got the chance to ask questions.  Secretary Sebelius also announced that the Affordable Care Act, HHS will be making $250 million available to support the establishment of approximately 350 new health center sites in fiscal year 2011.   You can check out the NACHC news release here.

We’re  also especially proud that Anita Monoian, NACHC’s Board Chair and CEO of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services published this op-ed in her local newspaper for NHCW. We hope more health center leaders will step forward with op-eds, press releases, and videos that higlight how health centers are indeed “Turning the Vision into Reality.”