This week is National Health Center Week (NHCW)! This year NHCW honors front-line providers, staff and patients who have lost their lives during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. In commemorating lives lost, let us take a moment to recognize the important ways that community health centers provide high-quality health care, improve health outcomes and narrow health disparities in our communities.
Let’s celebrate NHCW by taking a moment to discuss the benefits of community health centers:
- Supporting Community Health – Community health centers provide affordable health care in underserved communities for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, with fees based on a sliding fee scale. Studies estimate that the provision of care in community health centers ultimately saves the U.S. health care system between $9.9 billion and $24 billion annually by eliminating unnecessary emergency room visits and other hospital-based care.
- Boosting Community Economy – Studies demonstrate that increased funding to health centers creates additional economic stimulus both within the center and beyond. The nearly $2 billion investment from the stimulus act, for example, generated $3.2 billion of economic activity, and in 2009, health centers generated approximately $20 billion in economic activity for their local communities.
- Reducing Health Disparities – Communities that are attentive to public health can reduce inequality among their residents. “[Community health] also helps to reduce health gaps caused by differences in race and ethnicity, location, social status, income and other factors that can affect health,” according to the CDC.
This year, each day of NHCW is dedicated to a particular focus area, so community health centers will be coordinating events around these focus days:
- Sunday, 8/8: Public Health in Housing Day
- Monday, 8/9: Healthcare for the Homeless Day
- Tuesday, 8/10: Agricultural Worker Health Day
- Wednesday, 8/11: Patient Appreciation Day
- Thursday, 8/12: Stakeholder Appreciation Day
- Friday, 8/13: Health Center Staff Appreciation Day
- Saturday, 8/14: Children’s Health Day
For more information about National Health Center Week and how Vanguard can help your community center in facility management, cleaning, maintenance and other services, please contact us at 210-495-1950.
*Information from this article was found from The Center for American Progress