Over 50 events around North Carolina are planned as part of National Health Center Week (NHCW). The national campaign runs August 13-19th with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of North Carolina’s community health centers and those across the country over the course of more than five decades.

North Carolina’s community health centers play a vital role in our state’s healthcare safety net. They are innovators in healthcare delivery and feature a patient-centered medical home model that utilizes care teams and enabling services to help patients address their medical and social needs. Today, they play the following role in NC:

  • Serve more than 480,000 patients (41% uninsured, 26% Medicaid, 13% Medicare and 20% private insurance).
  • Offer sites in 85 of North Carolina’s 100 counties
  • Provide medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral health and substance abuse services
  • Participate in new delivery systems, such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Accountability Care Organizations and a Health Center Controlled Network that analyzes patient data to improve care
  • Generate & support over 3,400 jobs across the state
  • Have the staff expertise & outreach ability to help patients as the state moves through its Medicaid transformation
  • Nationally, community health centers:
  • Produce $24 billion in annual health system savings
  • Reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;
  • Treat patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit
  • Maintain patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent
  • Serve more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget

Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in their communities. In North Carolina, where our state did not expand Medicaid coverage to uninsured adults with incomes at or below $138% of the federal poverty level, community health centers remain one of the few healthcare providers willing to treat the

uninsured. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and addiction. Because of their long record of success in innovation, managing healthcare costs, and reducing chronic disease, leaders in Congress have declared health centers a model of care that offers a “bipartisan solution to the primary care access problems” facing our nation.

There are NHCW events scheduled across North Carolina and the country, including health fairs, press conferences, back-to-school drives, community breakfasts, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and dental cleanings, visits by members of Congress and state officials and much more.

To learn more about NHCW and the listing of events please visit: www.healthcenterweek.org.

You can also follow the conversation using #NHCW17 or #ValueCHCs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.