Thursday Stakeholder Appreciation

Community Health Centers Partnering with Vot-ER for Stakeholder Appreciation Day

Health care professionals at Community Health Centers know better than anyone that their patients’ health is impacted much more than their medical care. Research shows that our communities are healthier when more voters can participate in the democratic process. The healthy democracy index shows that states with more inclusive voting policies and higher civic participation rates have better health outcomes. Voters provide essential input into local decisions connected to health outcomes, including developing green spaces, public transit, and other infrastructure that supports health. Earlier this summer, the American Medical Association recognized voting as a social determinant of health, and HRSA updated its guidance to highlight the role that community health centers can play in reducing barriers to voting.

 

Community Health Centers can support their patients in this process by building relationships with elected officials, ensuring access to voting in local, state, and national elections, and providing expert insight into the health challenges facing their communities. In the words of Helen Kolokia, CEO of Molokai Community Health Center, “a just democracy is a central pillar to creating a healthy and vibrant community. The Native Hawaiian population we serve are the same residents underrepresented in our elections. As the only Federally Qualified Health Center on the island of Molokai, we have a unique ability and responsibility to ensure our community is prepared to exercise our right to vote.”

 

Staff at Metro Inclusive Health in Tampa Bay, who are participating in the inaugural Community Civic Engagement Program, placed a Vot-ER poster in their clinic windows to ensure that their patients, and passersby, can access voter registration resources.

 

This year, Vot-ER is proud to partner with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and AltaMed on the Community Civic Engagement Program (CCEP). CCEP provides Community Health Centers like Molokai with the resources and training they need to develop voter registration programs at their clinics and communities. Through this program, Community Health Centers plan voter registration drives, add a voter registration question to registration and discharge paperwork, and partner with local organizations to bring voter education resources to community events.

 

Three Ways to Get Involved during National Health Center Week

 

  1. Register for the free Virtual Civic Health Conference on August 12-13 to learn more about the connections between health and civic engagement and hear from Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician whose research uncovered the Flint water crisis.

 

  1. Talk to your colleagues and patients about the importance of voting. You can use Vot-ER’s evidence-based text messaging guidance to remind your community of upcoming voter registration deadlines – or take a look at a few ways to start the conversation in person!

 

  1. Register your interest to be informed when CCEP applications reopen.

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