By Amy Simmons
National Health Center Week (NHCW 2009 (August 9-15th) is halfway through and a host of news articles, videos, and interesting stories are piling up. First, NACHC’s online interactive economic stimulus map — launched to kick off NHCW — is already gaining notice as a living snapshot of how the one-time investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is making a difference. Visitors to the site can click on a particular state to see how many jobs were created and how much care was expanded at health centers because of the stimulus money. You can read more about in an article by AAFP News Now. The article notes that economic stimulus funds enabled the Open Door Family Medical Centers Inc., in Westchester County, N.Y., to hire a family nurse practitioner and two more family physicians to meet surging patient demand. “We were never in danger of going anywhere,” said FP Daren Wu, M.D., chief medical officer at Open Door tells reporter James Arvantes, “But we were never going to advance and get ahead.”
Another NHCW media highlight is the oped published by Burt Waller, a health center director and board member of the Tennessee Primary Care Association, in the Memphis Commericial Appeal. Waller writes:
“In the high-voltage rhetoric surrounding the health reform debate, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something both sides agree on. But broad-based bipartisan common ground can be found in support for expansion of community health centers. During the Bush and Obama administrations, health centers have grown to serve more than 18 million people annually. While the public dialogue focuses on the vital goals of insurance reform, reducing the numbers of uninsured and controlling costs, health centers continue to reach new communities and neighborhoods that lack adequate health care services. Most recently, Congress allocated a portion of the economic recovery funds to ensure that health centers can serve growing numbers of uninsured and have the capacity for purposeful growth.”
You can read more of the coverage on the National Health Center Week page.