National Health Center Week is an annual celebration between August 9, 2021, to August 15, 2021. The goal of the celebration is to raise awareness about the mission, accomplishments, and significance of America's health centers for the past five decades.
At the event, public servants, staff at the health centers, consumer board members, and patients will be honored throughout the week over various centers across the country. The general public can simply celebrate community health and related work by walking to their nearest health center.
History and Significance
The first national community health center was launched in 1965 in the country to safeguard and protect the well-being of American citizens, regardless of their capacity to pay.
These health centers were components of President Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" policy initiatives to eradicate racial injustice and poverty.
Today, these health centers serve as a bedrock over which the American public health system is built. They are the largest health care providers in the country right now, offering high-quality, affordable, accessible, and valuable health care services to over 29 million people every year. This directly means the health care centers are currently serving 1 in every 11 Americans across the country. These Health Centers have also been a significant part of the country's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the National Health Center Week, the significance of federally-supported health centers is recognized, and the contribution to community strength and care is celebrated.
The Health Centers integrate dental, medical, and mental health care services into a single "health home," consistently resulting in solid patient outcomes. Health care centers also play a vital role in reducing discrimination on all levels - racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographical, etc. This makes their role in the country invaluable.
Why is the National Health Center Week so important?
The National Health Center Week offers all the health centers across the country an opportunity to throw some light and insight on the health requirements of our community and their shared stake in community health.
It allows the health care centers to show the entire nation their success, capabilities, and unique model of care, which offers the most viable solutions to the nation's health care crisis, especially in tough times like these.
Celebrating the week is essential to garnering more and more public support, which results in overall legislative victories. This can help the nation serve more significant needs to lead the country and its people toward an equitable health care system.
Why is the National Health Center Week celebrated in August?
Traditionally, Congress takes a short break in August, allowing the Senators and US Representatives to return home to their congressional districts. It is usually the time before all the final decisions are made in Congress on various issues and appropriations that affect the nation's people, especially the health center programs. August is an ideal month for this and to reach out to different families and children about routine health screenings and back-to-school immunizations.
Currently, the time is appropriate to raise further awareness of Covid-19, health hazards, and the vaccination drive.
Celebrations and highlights
This year, the National Health Center Week carries "The Chemistry For Strong Community." The entire week, various public health centers will have virtual and in-person events, health screenings, activities, information, refreshments, and a lot more!
Each day of the National Health Center Week 2021 is dedicated to different focus areas:
- Sunday, 8/8: Public Health in Housing Day
- Monday, 8/9: Healthcare for the Homeless Day
- Tuesday, 8/10: Agricultural Worker Health Day
- Wednesday, 8/11: Patient Appreciation Day
- Thursday, 8/12: Stakeholder Appreciation Day
- Friday, 8/13: Health Center Staff Appreciation Day
- Saturday, 8/14: Children's Health Day
How can you observe?
You can find local events happening in the nearest public health center. You can also get involved in community efforts and activities surrounding the events. Visit the official website of the National Health Center Week to gain more information.
Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, you can sit at home and show your support, especially if you are not fully vaccinated yet. Simply use the #NationalHealthCenterWeek on your social media posts.
Goals of the National Health Center Week 2021
The primary goal of the National Health Center Week 2021 is to enhance the recognition, visibility, and profile of the community, homeless, migrant, and public housing centers to generate community awareness, pride, and support for the health center's program.
The US House of Representatives and the Senate have unanimously passed a resolution that asks the nation to recognize the contributions of all the health centers across the country. In addition to this, the mayors, governors, and other local governing bodies in more than 30 states are doing their best to pay tribute to the health centers in expanding affordable and qualitative health care to different communities.
The official website of the National Health Center Week dedicatedly suggests various ideas of how health centers can recognize and celebrate their work with the patients and other surrounding communities while maintaining necessary social distancing regulations during the trying times of Covid-19.
It’s time to honor and celebrate the public health servants this National Health Center Week. The health officials are doing a lot for the greater good of our country; they deserve a pat on their back this August.
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