Michigan Health Centers are marking National Health Center Week 2013 (NHCW) by hosting nearly 50 events across the state as part of a weeklong campaign (August 11-17) to raise awareness of the accomplishments of America’s Health Centers as local solutions for affordable and accessible health care.
A bright spot in America’s health care system, Health Centers have been in existence for over 45 years and have compiled a significant record of success by:
- Reducing income and ethnic health disparities nationwide, even in the poorest and most challenged communities
- Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings
- Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the ER
- Generating a system of preventive medicine that patients use regularly to stay healthy, thus saving lives
This year’s NHCW theme, “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Transforming Health Care in Our Local Communities,” underscores how Health Centers go beyond the reach of medicine to not only prevent illness, but address the factors that cause it. For instance, poor nutrition, unemployment, stress, or housing can affect a person’s whole health.
“The value of having a patient-centered health care home to address the whole health of a person is evident each and every day in Health Centers across Michigan and the country,” said Kim Sibilsky, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Primary Care Association. “When people have a place to go for regular care that focuses on prevention and connects them to community resources that can improve their quality of life, they are more likely to avoid illness, improve their health, and stay out of the hospital.”
The National Association of Community Health Centers has created an infographic, “Going Beyond Primary Care: Health Centers Transform Health Care in Local Communities” to show how Health Centers set themselves apart from other providers by offering enabling services, such as job training, insurance enrollment, housing assistance and case management, and much more.
Today, Health Centers serve more than 22 million people nationwide, including over 600,000 Michigan residents, and are increasingly becoming the trusted provider of choice for many families, whether they are insured or not. Evidence shows patients choose Health Centers because their care is convenient, affordable, comprehensive, and delivered in a culturally and linguistically appropriate setting with dignity and respect.
“This approach is an effective way to address more needs, improve health, and contain costs. It is what health care should be, and what we celebrate during National Health Center Week,” said Sibilsky.
To find out more about National Health Center Week and events taking place in Michigan, visit www.healthcenterweek.org.