Shenandoah Community Health celebrated National Health Center Week August 5th – 9th. The event was part of a national campaign to increase awareness of the ways health centers are providing affordable health care in communities. A host of events were scheduled throughout the week celebrating the ways that health centers are “Rooted in Communities.” Monday was Healthcare for the Homeless Day, Tuesday was Agricultural Worker Health Day, Wednesday was Patient Appreciation Day, Thursday was Stakeholder Appreciation Day, and Friday was dedicated to Staff Appreciation.
On Stakeholder Appreciation Day, SCH welcomed local and state representatives to the Martinsburg location for a tour and presentation by CEO, Mike Hassing. Health centers have a proud tradition of support from both sides of the political aisle. Bipartisan support continues to be beneficial for advocacy and policy priorities. Earlier this year, Congress passed a bipartisan budget deal that included $7.8 billion dollars in federal grant funding for the Community Health Center program. Legislative support on both sides is not limited to federal level, state and local support for health centers are also integral to their success. In a personal greeting from US Senator, Joe Manchin, he says “For decades, National Health Center Week has served to recognize the innovative and excellent quality care provided by community health centers across the nation. These centers are nationally ranked as some of the most cost effective and efficient care providers in the country. It is fitting that this year’s theme should be “Rooted in Community.” Not only do health centers strive to implement approaches that are community-based and driven, but here in West Virginia, where our neighbors are our friends and our friends are family, the focus on the needs of our community is especially important to us.”
Shenandoah Community Health is part of a nationwide network of locally-run health centers that serve more than 28 million people nationwide. They are on the front lines of national public health challenges – whether caring for veterans, providing opioid treatment, or responding to natural disasters. They are also a lifeline in remote and underserved communities where the nearest doctor or hospital can be as far as 50 miles or more away. Nearly half of health centers (44 percent) are located in rural communities.
This year’s National Health Center Week highlighted how health centers are at the forefront of a nationwide shift in addressing environmental and social factors as an integral part of primary care, reaching beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and substance use disorders. Community Health Centers’ success in managing chronic disease in medically vulnerable communities has helped reduce health care costs for American taxpayers.
For more information on your local health center, Shenandoah Community Health, visit www.shencommhealth.com.