Community Health Centers have always hired veterans, but now we’re working even harder to recruit more. A joint initiative launched by the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and NACHC aims to accomplish just that. The goal is to boost the number of veterans employed at health centers, starting with an average of one veteran per grantee site by the end of next year, or around 8,000 veterans. In a speech earlier this spring, HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield underscored that we’re making steady progress toward that goal, and “about 10 percent of the new hires last year at health centers were veterans.”
As this HRSA website notes, health centers already have veterans working in a variety of positions that include dentistry, operations, network administration, nursing, and much more. Veterans of the U.S. military have skills and experience that are a good match, and they also bring to the table a sense of mission and committment to community.
Walter “Mickey” Presha, who is President and CEO of Manatee County Rural Health Services in Manatee, FL, is a retired Army colonel whose health center employs a host of veterans. He says, “Employers need to recognize that vets are disciplined, have a tremendous work ethic and are goal oriented. … [They] are trained to provide direction, prioritize missions and resources, anticipate change and motivate others to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.”
Here are a few resources and links to help you stay informed about what NACHC and Community Health Centers are doing to boost our veteran workforce:
- NACHC webinar. Hear success stories and best practices from a health center and Primary Care Association that have successfully worked with the veteran population. 2 p.m. June 6, 2013. Visit this link for more information and to register.
- Fact sheets about the Veterans Hiring Initiative.
- Issue Brief: Community Health Centers and Veterans Hiring