August was a busy month in terms of news coverage about Community Health Centers. The headlines kicked off with a very successful National Health Center Week (NHCW) featuring thousands of events across the country that highlighted the critical services Community Health Centers offer their communities. There were health fairs, press conferences, celebrations, health screenings, visits by Members of Congress and other elected officials to their local health center — and much more. Many Primary Care Associations and health centers also reached out to the media, resulting in news stories in local broadcasts and newspapers.
“Health centers recently averted a massive funding cut earlier this year thanks to strong bipartisan action by the Oklahoma Congressional delegation. Without this leadership, hundreds of families in our community would have lost access to affordable health care in Morton’s system.”
“Beyond the walls of the health centers are resources that are out of reach for uninsured patients, including certain diagnostic services, treatment for illnesses such as cancer, necessary hospitalizations and lifesaving treatments… About 280,000 Tennesseans are caught in a gap that leaves them ineligible for insurance in the Affordable Care Act’s health care marketplace and also ineligible for TennCare coverage.”
Just days before the Community Health Institute (CHI) & Expo began, an editorial from The New York Times praised contributions of health centers to the health system and as well as their long history of bipartisan support:
“Today the health centers have become the largest primary care system in the United States. They serve some 23 million patients a year in over 9,000 locations across the country. Their professional association says they save the health care system some $24 billion a year by providing timely treatment and preventive care designed to meet local needs and preferences. The government says their quality of care equals and often surpasses that delivered by other primary care providers.”
As the NACHC CHI was ending, the Huffington Post featured an article about the Community Health Center Movement and its shared history with the Civil Rights Movement. The article was written by Ellen Lawton from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnerships and co-authored by H. Jack Geiger:
“Sickness and injustice are joined at the hip, like the proverbial Siamese twins. What’s more, they reinforce each other. Half a century ago, we observed that the poor are likelier to be sick, the sick are likelier to be poor and that without intervention, the poor will grow sicker and the sick will grow poorer. We have made great strides in the past 50 years in addressing these connections…”