August 9, 2022
This week, August 7th-13th, is National Community Health Center Week! The goal of a community health center (CHC) is to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of health centers across the country. Community Health Centers like StayWell serve as a beacon of strength, service and care in their communities. This year’s theme for Health Center Week is that Health Centers are “The Chemistry for Strong Communities”.
What is a Community Health Center?
Community Health Centers are nonprofit organizations providing primary care and preventive healthcare options within their local communities. These organizations include federally qualified health centers, or FQHC’s for short, and “look-alike” health centers. Look-alike health centers provide the same services as an FQHC, but they do not receive federal funding. There are 1,400 health centers across the country in a range of different communities but all health centers have the same core elements. Above all, the primary mission of health centers is to provide high-quality, culturally competent health care in the communities that they serve.
What makes Health Centers different?
Community Health Centers accept all patients regardless of insurance status or their ability to pay. Health Centers don’t just offer medical care though, they also offer support services. We have a team of community health workers who assist patients with finding and applying for insurance, housing issues, translation services, and in some cases can offer food assistance. Additionally, CHC’s are also governed by a board of directors that is 51% patients, meaning they are there to ensure that the health center is meeting the local needs of its patients and the community.
What services can I find at a Community Health Center?
While every health center will vary in the services that are offered, the majority have primary care, dental and behavioral health services. This means that there are many services under one roof, making it easy to schedule multiple health visits. Your primary care doctor can also send a referral directly to another department easily to get care scheduled quickly and efficiently.
Services you can find at StayWell
This year, StayWell kicked off Community Health Center Week by hosting our 1st annual Community Block Party where we had a mix of health services and screenings, music, food, and fun summer activities for all ages! Check out our Facebook page to see all the fun we had. Thanks to Eversource and AlleHealth, who sponsored the event, we were able to provide sandwiches and fresh fruit to our guests. LaBonne’s market donated bananas and several local grocery stores donated cases of water to keep everyone hydrated in the heat!
To learn even more about community health centers, check out the interview we did last year with the CEO of the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut.
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