Simply put, America’s Federally Qualified Health Centers are marking 50 years of providing access to affordable primary and preventative healthcare to the uninsured and medically underserved across the United States.
That is cause for celebration.
Throughout National Health Center Week (August 9-15), centers across the US will be telling their stories. There are some facts everyone interested in patient care should know, according to HealthCenterWeek.org:
Since their formation in 1965 as part of the War of Poverty, Community Health Centers have grown into a vital nation-wide network. Now 1,200 Community Health Centers serve a remarkable 28 million patients (in 2015) at more than 9,000 delivery sites nationwide. One in every 15 Americans depends on the services of a community health center.
Uninsured people living near a health center are less likely to visit the emergency room or have a hospital stay compared to others who are uninsured. By reducing emergency room visits, community health centers produce $24 billion in annual health system savings.
Health centers stimulate economic growth in their communities. Over $23 billion in economic activity was generated and more than 212,000 jobs were produced by health centers in 2012.
Community health centers maintain patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent.
The spirit of these very special institutions is elegantly captured by the mission statement of Everseat partner Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center in Boston: Providing care in a compassionate, patient-centered healing environment.
Happy Birthday to 9,000 of the most patient-focused clinics we know!