An annual celebration of the mission and achievements of America’s health centers over the past 50 years is known as National Health Center Week. It is observed in the month of August from 7th to the 13th. The nation’s most vulnerable people and families, such as homeless people, agricultural workers, persons living in public housing, and veterans, receive comprehensive, culturally competent primary health care services from health centers, which are community-based and patient-directed organizations.
In places where access to affordable healthcare is restricted by economic, geographic, or cultural limitations, health centers integrate access to pharmacy, mental health, substance use disorder, and oral health services. Health centers lessen health disparities by placing a strong emphasis on the integrated management of patients with different healthcare requirements and the adoption of essential practices for quality improvement, such as health information technology. In addition to promoting wellness and preventing sickness, health centers now develop ground-breaking solutions to some of the most important healthcare problems in their communities while upholding some of the highest standards of care. Nearly all health facilities achieve or surpass at least one benchmark objective for the caliber of care.
Millions of Americans, including some of the most vulnerable groups in the country, now prefer to receive their basic primary care services from community health centers. Many persons who face linguistic, cultural, social, and geographic challenges to care can find a medical home at a health center.
The theme for this year is Community Health Centers – The Chemistry for Strong Communities.
Each day is dedicated to one focused area during the National Health Center’s week.
- Sunday, 8/7: Public Health in Housing Day
Community Health Centers are able to modify care to better suit the requirements of patients by taking into account their social determinants, which include socioeconomic and environmental factors, institutional influence, and social networks.
- Monday, 8/8: Healthcare for the Homeless Day
The Community Health Centers get financing under the Health Care for the Homeless program specifically to address the needs of persons without permanent home. Every year, 1.3 million homeless persons are helped by these facilities.
- Tuesday, 8/9: Agricultural Worker Health Day
20% of the 4.5 million migrant and seasonal agricultural laborers and their families in the United States are currently served by community health centers.
- Wednesday, 8/10: Patient Appreciation Day
The boards of community health centers are made up of local residents, patients, and representatives of various groups the facility serves.
- Thursday, 8/11: Stakeholder Appreciation Day
For advocacy and policy initiatives supporting Community Health Centers nationwide, coming from federal, state, and local governing bodies, bipartisan support is advantageous.
- Friday, 8/12: Health Center Staff Appreciation Day
Staff members, volunteers, and community partners put in a lot of effort, which makes community health centers successful. They should be honored and commended.
- Saturday, 8/13: Children’s Health Day
A Community Health Center provides primary healthcare for 8 million children countrywide. This effect on the family is crucial.
IMPACT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS
According to the data, these health centers cut the cost of emergency, hospital, and specialist care by $24 billion annually, including the cost of behavioral health. This is accomplished by expanding access to primary care and decreasing needless hospital stays and trips to the emergency room. An emergency department visit typically costs one-sixth as much as a visit to a health center. Transportation, translation, case management, and health education are among the services offered. The screening, diagnosis, and management of chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, heart and lung disease, depression, cancer, and HIV/AIDS are all covered by primary and preventive care services.