Health centers have organized a multitude of creative National Health Center Week events. Here a just a few examples. Click on the links below to see how health centers have made these ideas come to life.
Show off your health center to the community
- Celebrate the opening of a new site with a ribbon cutting or groundbreaking.
Have an open house and tours of your health center and the services you provide.
Develop a theme for a day (Back-to-School day check-ups is a good one!).
Host a community breakfast or barbeque.
Hold a voter registration drive.
- Involve local school districts by inviting teachers and health personnel, such as school nurses, to visit your health center and to learn more about your center’s initiatives directed to children’s health.
Honor your staff
- Offer lunch to your health center staff to show your appreciation for their work.
Hold an awards ceremony to honor staff, board members and other health center volunteers.
Engage your community
- Organize a flash mob, bike race, walk-a-thon or parade to promote your health center.
- Hold a contest like a kid’s coloring contest or a poster contest.
- Promote your health center at libraries. Arrange library talks by health center staff on community health and to promote the services you provide.
- Arrange a health fair and offer free screenings and or immunizations to community members. You could even host a Zumba class at the fair!
- Set up information tables at shopping malls or grocery stores to distribute pamphlets answer questions.
- Celebrate Public Housing Health Centers Day on Tuesday, Health Care for the Homeless Day on Wednesday and Farmworker Health Day on Thursday of NHCW.
- Contact local public offices to request approval for a health exhibit at your town or city hall or governmental offices to provide information on your health center.
- Show appreciation for local police and or firemen or other community partners, and collaborate with local organizations on your celebration.
- Contact religious institutions to place advertisements or inserts about National Health Center Week activities in church bulletins or weekly papers and offer to make health education presentations.
And ALWAYS invite your elected officials
- Invite them to come and speak at one of your events.
Give them a tour of your health center.
Offer them an award for their support.
Cool NHCW celebration ideas from previous years:
HealthWest, Inc. in southeast Idaho held the groundbreaking for their new 7,500 square foot site in Pocatello during NHCW 2014 (at right- top). The health center now has eight sites, with the Pocatello location opening its doors to patients in March 2015 with a ribbon cutting by the local Chamber of Commerce (at right- bottom). Read more here.
Sebasticook Family Doctors in Dexter, Maine hosted an open house in honor of a new hire, Dr. Adam Thompson, who would provide dental services to the health center. Read more here
Lynn Community Health Center in Lynn, Massachusetts hosted a flash mob at the local farmer’s market to celebrate NHCW 2012 and to promote healthy eating and exercise. They partnered with other local nonprofits with similar missions and got about 40 health center employees to volunteer to dance. Read more here
The Center for Family Health in Jackson, Michigan held a social media competition in celebration of NHCW. Three participants were selected from those who “liked” the Center on Facebook or “followed” the center on Twitter for the prize of a Visa gift card. They also used NHCW as an opportunity to collect patients’ stories on video. Read more here
Shenandoah Community Health hosted a health fair in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Tents at the fair featured games, back-to-school supplies and healthy snacks. The fair also featured educational materials for parents as well as performances from local musicians and artists. Read more here
Middletown Community Health Center organized a health fair in Middletown, NY featuring a farmer’s market, snacks, cooking demonstrations and health screenings. Read more here
The three sites of Metropolitan Family Health Network in Hudson County, New Jersey hosted health fairs featuring speakers, raffle prizes, fitness classes and health screenings. The event also included educational sessions, stress relief classes, a blood drive, food and live music. Read more here
Chiricahua Community Health hosted a health fair in Douglas, Arizona entitled Douglas’ C.A.R.E. Fair (Children Assistant and Resource Event) for the tenth consecutive year in celebration of NHCW 2012. They offered free screenings including dental and vision and featured local vendors selling food and performing. They also worked with the Mexican consulate to provide information to individuals with family members in Mexico or bi-national citizens. They also provided back-to-school supplies to kids. Read more here
Free Health Screenings
Flint Hills Community Health Center celebrated NHCW 2012 in Flint Hills, Kansas with free oral cancer and depression screenings on Monday and Tuesday and women’s annual exams on Wednesday. Read more here
OIC Family Medical Center in Rocky Mount, NC celebrated NHCW with a mobile unit providing free health screenings including general exams, blood pressure tests and some immunizations. They invited elected officials including Sen. Richard Burr, who attended the event, to “It’s a Family Affair”. Read more here
Focus on Special Populations
Metropolitan Family Network of Hudson County NJ celebrated Health Care for the Homeless Day with a barbeque for homeless community members. Read more here
Frederiksted Health Care Inc. in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands held free health screenings and breakfast at the vegetable market on Health Care for the Homeless Day as well as screenings on agricultural grounds for Farmworker Health Day. Read more here
Community Health Center of Meriden held a ceremony in appreciation of the local police and firefighters. Read more here
Community Health Center, Inc. in Middletown, Connecticut worked with a local company, FableVIsion, to illustrate the story of Community Health Center’s 40 year service. The short, animated video tells the history of the center and explains its importance to the community. Read more here and check out the video here
Visits from Elected Officials
More than 90 Members of Congress visited health centers during NHCW 2014. Representative Dan Kildee (MI-5) visited Health Delivery, Inc.’s Janes Street Academic CHC site in Saginaw, Michigan. During the event, he was presented with NACHC’s Distinguished Community Health Defender Award and raffled off childrens’ bikes and backpacks. The health center’s CEO, Dr. Brenda Coughlin (left), and other staff also provided Rep. Kildee (right) with a tour of the facility.