Why is National Health Center Week important?
National Health Center Week is a powerful tool used to rally public support for the Community Health Center program that translates into legislative victories, positive administrative policies, and thriving partnerships to foster a more equitable healthcare delivery system for all people. It also provides an opportunity to highlight the unique needs of local communities and a shared strategy in community health. Most importantly, it is a time to celebrate Community Health Centers as the nation’s largest network of primary care providers that serves 30+ million patients annually!
What are the goals of National Health Center Week?
National Health Center Week is a time to build power and relationships that:
1. Celebrate Community Health Centers and the comprehensive, innovative, and cost-effective care they provide.
2. Increase awareness and community support for Community Health Centers.
3. Advocate for Community Health Center funding and policies that protect access to care for 30+ million patients.
How does the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) support National Health Center Week?
Every year, NACHC unveils a theme for National Health Center Week and provides training, toolkits, and resources to help Community Health Centers plan successful messaging and activities. Each health center will be mailed a National Health Center Week packet (addressed to the CEO) that includes a poster and other materials. Additional swag, such as t-shirts and banners, are available via the online store. In addition, NACHC solicits sponsorships to support health center events at both the national and local levels. Information about National Health Center Week can be found at www.healthcenterweek.org. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
What is the importance of having a National Health Center Week theme and focus days?
The annual National Health Center Week theme is meant to highlight the strength and unity of Community Health Centers nationwide while allowing each health center to celebrate the uniqueness of its patients and community. Similarly, focus days showcase the innovative services and special populations that Community Health Centers reach, in addition to recognizing staff, patients, and other supporters that help health centers thrive.
What resources are available to assist in planning National Health Center Week activities?
Health centers are encouraged to use NACHC’s tools and resources as a starting point to plan activities and mobilize their community in celebration of National Health Center Week. Some may choose to partner with state/regional primary care associations in their planning. Health centers can also coordinate events with other community organizations (don’t forget to enlist support from volunteers and local businesses). While not all organizations have the capacity to plan large community events, the overall objective is to build awareness and support for the Community Health Center program. Consider pitching a local newspaper to write a feature about the impact of your health center’s role in meeting community health needs or invite an elected official to tour your facilities. Whatever you can do counts!
Is National Health Center Week officially recognized?
In recent years, Congress has unanimously passed resolutions calling upon the nation to celebrate National Health Center Week and recognize the contributions of America’s Community Health Centers. The President of the United States has also issued formal proclamations in tribute to the occasion. Organizations are encouraged to work with their state primary care association and local governing bodies to secure proclamations celebrating the role of Community Health Centers in expanding access to affordable and quality care in their communities. Click here to learn more about seeking public and civic support.
Why is National Health Center Week observed in August?
Congress traditionally takes a recess in August allowing U.S. Representatives and Senators to return to their home states and congressional districts. This is normally the time just before final decisions are made regarding appropriations and a host of other issues that may affect Community Health Center programs and Members of Congress are eager to meet and hear from their constituents at public events. Also, August is an ideal time for health centers to reach families and children with health fairs, screenings, and back-to-school immunizations.