National Community Health Centers Provide Primary & Preventive Care to 20 Million

National Community Health Center WeekThe U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced today that this week, August 7th-13th, is National Community Health Center Week. This is “an opportunity to recognize the vital work of community health centers, which provide high quality primary and preventive care for nearly 20 million Americans,” HHS said.

In a Presidential Proclamation on National Health Center Week issued by the White House, President Obama said: “I encourage all Americans to celebrate this week by visiting their local community health center, meeting local health center providers, and exploring the programs they offer to help keep their families healthy.”

To help you find and visit a Community Health Center near you, the Health Resources & Services Administration of HHS provides an Online Finder Tool. You can just enter your address, and click “show addresses” or “show map and addresses” of the health centers near you.

As part of the announcement, HHS issued a Fact Sheet on Community Health Centers, which is posted on HealthCare.gov.

In an introduction to its Fact Sheet, HHS states:

“For more than 40 years, community health centers have delivered comprehensive, high-quality preventive and primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. During that time, community health centers have become the essential primary care medical home for millions of Americans including some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations. With a proven track record of success, community health centers have played an essential role in national recovery and reinvestment efforts and will play a key role in implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

The Department announced that under the Affordable Care Act, $11 billion of funding to bolster and expand community health centers will be provided over the next 5 years. This includes $1.5 billion for construction and renovation projects and $9.5 billion for creation of new community health center sites in medically underserved areas and expansion of preventive and primary health care services.

HHS further announced that “Next week, $250 million is being made available to support the establishment of approximately 350 new community health center sites in fiscal year 2011.”

“The expansion of community health center sites and services will make affordable, cost-effective, high quality preventive and primary care services available to nearly twice as many people regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay; and will create thousands of direct employment opportunities in many of the country’s most economically distressed, low income communities,” HHS said.

The Department also released a video in which HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discusses the crucial role played by community health centers in providing health care services to populations that may otherwise not be covered. The services provided include “helping patients manage chronic conditions so they can stay out of the hospital and offering preventive care, to help stop health problems before they start,” according to the Secretary, all of which play a large role in helping to control national health care costs.


View the Video »

More Information

HHS’ Health Resources & Services Administration provides an Online Finder Tool to help you find and visit a Community Health Center near you.

See the HHS Fact Sheet on Community Health Centers at: HealthCare.gov.

See also the HelpingYouCare™ resource pages on VoicesForCare™, including:

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