What is National Health Center Week?
National Health Center Week (NCHW) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.
Community HealthNet Health Centers (CHN) and other Community Health Centers (CHCs) serve as the beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. In moments of pain and loss, they offer support and love. In moments of triumph, they offer hope and a vision for the future.
During NHCW 2020, communities came together to celebrate the roles CHCs played in our country’s recent moments of loss and triumph. NHCW honored those front-line providers, staff, and beloved patients who lost their lives during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic.
From the very beginning of the crisis, CHN and CHCs began finding innovative ways to provide preventative and primary care to their patients. During that week of remembrance, a candle was lit for those community health leaders, patients that we lost.
As we commemorate those lives and celebrate the future of Community Health, let’s shine a light across the country that will embody the future of primary health care aces for underserved populations.
In recent years, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have unanimously passed resolutions calling upon the nation to celebrate National Health Center Week and recognize the contributions of America’s Health Centers. Last year and in several previous years the President of the United States issued a Presidential Proclamation. In addition, governors, mayors and local governing bodies issued proclamations in tribute to the role of Health Centers in expanding access to affordable and quality care in their states and communities. In 2019, at the request of State/Regional Primary Care Associations and their Health Centers, governors and mayors over in 30 states across the country issued proclamations.
What are the goals of National Health Center Week?
The goals of National Health Center Week are twofold: to enhance the visibility and profile of Community, Migrant, and Homeless, and Public Housing Centers; and to generate community pride and build support for the health centers program. National Health Center Week provides an ideal occasion to celebrate the long record of success and delivery of high quality, cost effective, and accessible care across the nation. It is a great opportunity for health centers to speak out telling the story of their community-based model of care and creating public awareness of what they do and how they do it.