By:Jonathan Spiers –

This week is National Health Center Week, and community health centers across the country are marking the occasion with events intended to raise awareness of their roles in providing affordable healthcare to people regardless of whether they have insurance.

Among them is New Hanover Community Health Care Inc., which recently changed its name to MedNorth Health Center. Located at North Fourth and Harnett streets in downtown Wilmington, MedNorth is celebrating 20 years of providing healthcare to underserved areas and communities in New Hanover County and the greater Wilmington area.

The center acknowledged that milestone along with National Health Center Week with a press conference Tuesday, followed by a patient appreciation reception. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, City Councilman Kevin O’Grady and County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield were among those who joined area medical professionals and public service providers in celebrating the center, which Saffo described as critical to Wilmington.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ to all of you for what you do for the community,” Saffo said. “It is a critical, critical issue not only for this community but for this country, and we appreciate everything you do.”

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