Health Center Advocacy
The beginning of the year has been busy for America’s health centers and our 28 million patients! Several bills were introduced in the Senate to extend the Community Health Center Fund for 5 years and provide support for workforce expansions at health centers. These legislative efforts represents a critical step forward in our efforts to secure long-term and predictable funding for community health centers. Click below for more information on the bills and to send a message to your Senators.
We expect additional legislation in both the House and Senate to be introduced in the coming weeks, but wanted to give you the opportunity to act NOW! Your voice is needed to ensure every Senator supports at least one of these critical bills to extend health center funding and broaden our workforce.
What is Health Center Advocacy?
The health center movement began with just two health centers in two communities over 45 years ago and has grown to encompass over 1,200 health centers providing quality, affordable health care to 20 million people in over 7,000 communities in every state and territory.
As you consider how the benefits of past advocacy have helped your health center and your community, think about how much more still needs to be done. You can prepare to shape the future of health care in Americas by getting involved. Here are a few quick and easy ways to get started:
- Join the NACHC advocacy network and send messages to Congress.
- Sign up to receive CHCAMS Grassroots Advocacy Council text message action alerts.
- Create events to celebrate National Health Center Week [LINK].
- Write letters to the editor.
- Collect signatures of patients on a petition supporting significant legislation.
Support for health centers has continued and grown through countless economic and political ups and downs because there have always been people at the grassroots who made sure policymakers always knew what health centers meant back home.
In the 1980’s the Federal Health Centers program was almost undone, and were it not for a true grassroots uprising that hit Congress, we would not be talking about health centers today. That grassroots power was due to the fact that health centers are not just in, they are of their communities. Health centers ARE the grassroots and that is the power that sustains us.
As the old saying goes, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Policy and opinion makers depend on advocates to help them understand and recognize issues that deserve their support. Without grassroots advocacy, health centers risk losing public support for their needs.