August 6th || Public Housing
Some Community Health Centers receive grant support for the federal Public Housing Primary Care (PHPC) program, a special population designation. The mission of the PHPC program is to provide residents of public housing with increased access to comprehensive primary health care and disease prevention services. In 2021, more than 5.7 million Community Health Center patients were served at a location in or immediately accessible to a public housing site. The National Center for Health in Public Housing (NCHPH) provides training and technical assistance to PHPC grantees. The goal is to increase capacity and improve the performance of HRSA-supported Health Center Programs and other safety net providers in meeting the specialized healthcare needs of public housing residents. NCHPH has developed materials for training and education, disseminated best practices, and mentored new grantees.
August 7th || Health Care for People Experiencing Homelessness Day
Although all Community Health Centers provide care to vulnerable people in their communities – including some experiencing homelessness – more than 200 organizations receive targeted funding from the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program to meet the needs of those living without stable housing. Collectively, Community Health Centers serve nearly 1.3 million individuals experiencing homelessness each year, a vast majority of whom seek care from HCH grantee organizations.
People who experience homelessness endure higher rates of chronic and acute disease, behavioral health conditions, and other needs that make them vulnerable to poor health, disability, and early death. HCH programs provide high-quality, comprehensive primary and behavioral health care, case management, and other supportive services to meet the needs of people who lack stable housing. Services focus on trauma-informed care practices that provide healing, choice, safety, and trust while empowering individuals as advocates in their own care.
The National Health Care for the Homeless Council works to improve the delivery of healthcare services to people experiencing homelessness by providing comprehensive technical assistance and advocacy support to HCH grantees. National Health Center Week is a time to honor and celebrate the work being done at HCH organizations and to advocate for policies that end homelessness by providing comprehensive housing as a basic human right.
August 8th || Agricultural Worker Health Center Day
In 1962, the Migrant Health Act was signed by President John F. Kennedy authorizing the delivery of primary and supplemental healthcare services to migrant farmworkers, resulting in the Migrant Health Center program. This landmark agreement sowed the seeds for what would later become the Community Health Center Program. Today, Community Health Centers serve more than 1 million migratory and seasonal agricultural workers, approximately 20% of the total estimated agricultural worker population in the United States.
All 50 states have migratory agricultural workers, and about 175 Community Health Centers receive supplemental funding to serve this special population, around 30% of whom are children. Migrant Health Centers have a strong record of providing what some see as new ideas: community health workers have been a backbone of operations for decades. Also common are food pantries, education programs, banking assistance, license/ID assistance, housing and clothing support, legal services, and recreation programs.
In 2015, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) teamed up with the National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) to launch the Ag Worker Access Campaign. The campaign’s goal is to develop more effective strategies to increase access to care for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and their families. Migrant Health Program grantees are critical to ensuring access to quality primary and preventive care for patients who might otherwise go without.
August 9th || Patient Appreciation Day
For the first time in history, Community Health Centers served more than 30 million patients in 2021. A legacy more than 60 years in the making, the Community Health Center movement began as a journey of building power among people within their unique communities. Today, Community Health Centers represent the largest network of primary care providers in America. Community Health Centers serve 1 in 11 people in the U.S. including:
1 in 9 children and adolescents
1 in 7 racial and ethnic minorities
1 in 6 Medicaid beneficiaries
1 in 5 uninsured persons
1 in 3 people in poverty
Additionally, federal policy requires that at least 51% of Community Health Center board members be patients of the health centers they represent. Consumer board members volunteer their time and expertise to be a voice for others who are served by the health center in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. We celebrate the patients and community board members who keep Community Health Centers accountable for meeting the needs of local communities.
August 10th || Stakeholder Appreciation Day
Thanks to a continuous emphasis on delivering patient-centered care that results in positive outcomes, Community Health Centers have received bipartisan political support for more than 50 years. And, while the Health Center Program originated at the federal level, widespread legislative support for Community Health Centers exists across state and local governments as well. Building a stronger, more sustainable Community Health Center movement is reliant on continuous engagement with stakeholders at all levels of policy. National Health Center Week presents the perfect opportunity to show appreciation for elected officials and their legislative staff.
August 11th || Health Center Staff Appreciation Day
The incredible value Community Health Centers bring to their patients and communities is rooted in the diligent work of more than 270,000 staff and volunteers across the U.S. These individuals are deeply committed to the Community Health Center mission to provide high-quality healthcare services to all people, regardless of income or insurance status. Additionally, the Community Health Center workforce contributes to nearly $63 billion in economic activity generated in communities where health centers are located. We are grateful for Community Health Center staff and volunteers, today and every day!
August 12th || Children's Health Day
More than 8.6 million children in the United States receive primary care from a Community Health Center. National Health Center Week is the perfect time to engage your youngest patients as they prepare to return to school. From well-child checks to book drives, health centers can help children be healthy, strong, and empowered now and in the future. The National Association of Community Health Centers is proud to partner with Sesame Street in Communities to provide integrated tools and resources that address topics impacting child development and social support needs. Sesame Street in Communities is a bilingual, multimedia initiative that features hundreds of FREE activities ranging from the alphabet to health and wellness, and tougher topics like coping with traumatic experiences. These resources help build resilience in children and the adults who care for them. Explore the site to find printable materials, videos, games, professional development tools, and more to feature in your National Health Center Week activities and beyond.
Sunshine Community Health Center