The second week of August is celebrated as the “National Health Center Week (NHCW)” in the United States. Each year, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) sponsors this week-long celebration. The celebration which begins from the second week of August (from 10th-16th) is regarded as a time to commemorate the record of success demonstrated by America’s Health Centers.
The 2014 National Health Center Week (NHCW) theme is – “America’s Health Centers – Local Engines for Healthier Communities”. The theme will help healthcare centers to communicate the importance of providing continuous primary and preventive care to minimize the possible risk of new healthcare problems and thereby lower the total medical costs.
The weeklong celebration is focused on highlighting and recognizing the services and contributions of Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost-effective healthcare to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the U.S. The goals of the NHCW are twofold –
- To enhance the visibility and profile of community, migrant, homeless, public housing and school-based health centers; and to generate community pride and build support for the health centers program
- To create more public awareness about the community-based model of care
Even though healthcare centers are local community owned and operated, they employ more than thousands of individuals at about 9,000 delivery sites across the US. They have of being ranked among the highest quality and cost-effective care providers in the nation. Healthcare centers offer services to about 22 million people (including 921,035 farm workers and more than 1,145,449 homeless people) at about 9,000 delivery sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories.
As part of the NHCW celebration each year, three days are set aside to recognize special populations served by the health center. The days set aside this year are –
- Public Housing Health Centers Day (August 12, Tuesday)
- Health Care for the Homeless Day (August 13, Wednesday)
- Farm worker Health Day (August 14, Thursday)
Over the last few years, the National Health Center Week activities have increased dramatically. When compared to last year, this year more than 1400 NHCW events were reported. Health Center Week celebration has become a powerful tool to gather support for the wellness programs. It helps to recognize the significant contributions made by wellness centers in the US to achieve the goal of ensuring healthcare access.
Join us in the NHCW, 2014 celebrations!