Each year the second week in August is dedicated to celebrating the services and contributions of Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers. While there are countless reasons to celebrate America’s Health Centers, among the most important and unique is their long success in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States.
There are 44 million uninsured people in this nation and another 56 million who, although they may have health insurance, live in areas without doctors and basic health services. These health centers serve as the medical and health care home for over 20 million people nationally – a number that is quickly growing. Health center patients are among the nation’s most vulnerable populations – people who even if insured would nonetheless remain isolated from traditional forms of medical care because of where they live, who they are, the language they speak, and their higher levels of complex health care needs. As a result, patients are disproportionately low income, uninsured or publicly insured, and minority.
Let’s thank our Community Health Care Centers for all that they do to reduce disparities each and every day!