The 2019 NACHC Community Health Institute and EXPO ended a packed day of education sessions, speakers, and a crowded exhibit with a “Disco Inferno” explosion of food and music.
We started the morning at the General Session with U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), a longtime champion of health centers, who reminded the gathering that, despite the growth of Community Health Centers at more than 29 million patients, launching the movement was indeed a struggle.
“Community Health Centers did not fall out of a Cracker Jack box,” he said. “It took a lot of thinking, planning, marching, and fighting from people who put their hearts and souls into the effort.”
Davis once worked at Mile Square Health Center before being elected to Congress. He still goes there for his health care needs. “They ask, ‘Congressman are you here to see someone?'” recalls Davis. “I answer, ‘Yeah, my primary care doctor’.”
After Congressman Davis’ remarks, General Session attendees heard from a plenary panel of health center leaders discussing value-based care innovation. The panelists were Aaron Todd, CEO of the Iowa Primary Care Association, Mari Kaptain-Dahlen, CEO, Siouxland Community Health Center, Manny Lopes, CEO, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, and Dr. Mahdi Ashrafian, Chief Medical Officer, Community Health Systems, Inc., The panel’s topic, “Better Together: Health Centers Collaborating in Uncertain Times for a Stronger Future,” was moderated by Jennifer Nolty, NACHC’s Director of PCA and Network Relations.
Another highlight of the General Session was the presentation of the 2019 Community Health Care Awards of Excellence. The honorees are:
Merrill Thomas, President/CEO, Providence Community Health Centers, Providence, RI; Veatrice Crawford, Consumer Board Member, SIU Center for Family Medicine, Springfield, IL; Arthur Seiji Hayashi, Medical Director, Mary’s Center, Washington, DC; Kristin Keglovitz Baker, COO, Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago, IL; Lucy Ramirez Torres, CEO, Nuestra Clinica del Valle, San Juan, TX; Philip Morphew, Fmr. CEO, Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Indianapolis, IN; Kevin Maddox, CFO, Sunrise Community Health, Evans, CO; Berneice Mills-Thomas, CEO, Near North Health Services Corporation, Chicago, IL.
Today we look forward to the Closing General Session and the focus of “The Future of Work in Health Care.”
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