Community Health Centers of Lane County is marking National Health Center Week 2012 (NHCW) with a week of activities for patients and visitors to the Charnelton and RiverStone sites.
The event is part of a weeklong campaign (August 5-11) to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers as local solutions. The theme of this year’s NHCW is “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Powering Healthier Communities,” to underscore how Community Health Centers provide access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States. This feat is only possible through the strong partnerships of people, governments and communities who work together to meet the unique and diverse health conditions of the community. Health centers are run from the bottom up, by a patient-majority governing board, which guides how limited resources can be effectively directed to meet the health care needs of the community.
In a time when answers to our nation’s healthcare problem are difficult to find, health centers are consistently regarded as one of the most effective ways of addressing the 60 million people in the US with limited or no access to primary care providers by members of both political parties. They do this by providing a health care home to over 20 million patients at 8,000 sites with an emphasis on preventing more severe and costly treatment.
With more health care homes in more communities, more individuals are given effective treatments that both improve their quality of life and reduce the need for unnecessary, and expensive, hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room.
“Studies show when illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and depression are not appropriately managed or prevented, they account for a significant portion of the skyrocketing costs for families and the entire health care system,” says Jeri Weeks, Community Health Centers of Lane County Division manager.”
America's Community Health Centers, like Community Health Centers of Lane County, have been leaders in utilizing the value of this approach as an effective way to address the growing need for care, improve the health of patients, and contain costs. Health center services in Lane County include a prenatal clinic, family planning, pediatrics, family practice and behavioral health services.
“Our patients not only get the care they need under one roof, but they are treated as individuals, with respect and compassion. This is what health care should be, and what we celebrate during National Health Center Week,” says Weeks.
Now more than ever public support is needed for health centers as Congress attempts to reduce the budget deficit with spending cuts to the program and changes to Medicaid that could further reduce access to preventive care for millions of people. To find out more about National Health Center Week, please visit www.healthcenterweek.org.
Community Health Centers of Lane County are a division of Lane County Health & Human Services. Its programs and services create a healthier and safer community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Learn more about the work of Community Health Centers of Lane County at: http://www.lanecounty.org/CHC