17 Mar Standing with Community Health Centers
Your local Community Health Center needs your help.
As we write this we are adapting our Community Health Center advocacy efforts to reflect the current reality and the ever-evolving impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). If things were different this week, our schedules would be booked solid with plans to visit Capitol Hill with hundreds of Health Center Advocates to make our case for long-term, stable health center funding. However, the current reality is much more critical.
Community Health Centers and their staff are working tirelessly to ensure that almost 30 million patients across the country receive care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The health center response to COVID-19 is not unusual. As trusted community providers, health centers are uniquely positioned to respond to public health challenges. They have the existing relationships with community stakeholders, they are governed by community-boards with a patient majority, and they have the framework in place to communicate important health information to the community at large.
However, the pandemic’s impacts on their vital work are far-reaching and are also exacerbated by the uncertainty of operating under a temporary funding measure.
While Community Health Centers work to keep their communities healthy in this unsettling time here’s how you can help:
- Contact your Member of Congress and ask them to provide stable funding for Community Health Centers. You can email, call, or post it on social media, but please use your voice to raise awareness of Community Health Centers.
- BE PERSISTENT.
Ask your colleagues, family, and friends to do the same. The lack of stable funding makes it challenging to recruit and hire providers, plan services, or expand capacity. Community Health Centers need stability more than ever. We need Congress to pass a long-term funding fix which would allow health centers to plan for the future, hire and train needed medical staff and respond to public health threats like the one we’re facing now.
As your local Community Health Centers take on this pandemic, stand with them. As the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. said “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”