Education as Advocacy on National Health Center Week

Friday, July 22, 2011

National Health Center Week   (August 7-13) is just around the corner!  We have a number of events lined up, and if you’ve ever organized a public event, you can probably imagine that it’s a busy time!  However, I’m pretty excited about how Community Health Partnership is using National Health Center Week as a springboard to raise awareness of our clinics and current health care issues.  I hope you’ll join us.

On Monday, August 8, we are co-sponsoring a “Health Disparities and Social Inequities Briefing” with California Assemblymember Paul Fong in partnership with our member health center Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)  , The Health Trust, and Kaiser Permanente.  According to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, “health disparities are differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups.”   As the health care safety net for the poor and uninsured, community health centers see the populations that suffer most from health disparities.   For example, one of our Board Members, Liz Hunt, CEO of Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley  will be addressing how the legacy of racism towards American Indians affects the health outcomes of this communities even in present day.  Through this briefing, we not only aim to raise awareness about health disparities, but also intend to enlist a new crop of community health center supporters, willing to fight health disparities and social inequities with us.

On Tuesday, August 9, we are scheduled to receive a proclamation for National Health Center Week from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and will be hosting a reception afterwards.  We are pleased that our county is recognizing our health centers in this way.  Obtaining proclamations and resolutions is a great excuse for celebration, and doubles as an advocacy tool that reminds elected officials of the important role health centers have in keeping communities healthy. 

On Wednesday, August 10, Gardner Family Health Network  will be hosting free glucose and blood pressure screenings next to San Jose City Hall and at all of their clinic sites.  “Gardner” has attracted quite a bit of media attention lately; they were featured in the Bay Area edition of the New York Times  this month, and an op-ed piece supporting their expansion ran in the San Jose Mercury News this past week.  Both articles highlighted the challenge that community health centers face all over the country: trying to do more with less.  Meeting the increased demand for accessible and affordable health care while facing local, state, and federal cuts. 

While originally scheduled during National Health Center Week, we are pleased to announce that Congressman Mike Honda  and will be joining us for a legislative briefing on health care reform on Thursday, August 25th.  I’ll be sharing more details about this much anticipated event soon.

I would love to see you at any of our National Health Center Week events!  Simply give me a call at (408) 570-6014 or send me an email.