Northeast Ohio FQHC Collaborative Celebrates National Health Center Week
Cleveland, OH – On Thursday, August 11, 2022, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), commonly referred to as community health centers, across Northeast Ohio will convene from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Ariel International Center to commemorate National Health Center Week (August 7-13).
More than 100 elected officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders are expected to attend. The program will include a keynote by Dr. David Margolius, the City of Cleveland’s new Director of Public Health. He will address the state of public health and equity in Northeast Ohio communities - and how FCHQs fit into the future of reducing health disparities. Additionally, each health center will present a Health Care Hero Award to a deserving team member who has made significant contributions to the organization.
This year’s regional theme is Equity Matters. The weeklong observance helps to spotlight the important contributions of health centers in expanding access to health care to marginalized communities and for improving the health and future wellbeing of individuals living in Northeast Ohio.
From meeting emerging community needs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, to offering high-quality and affordable medical and behavioral health care to our most vulnerable citizens, community health centers are an essential part of the health care system. Community health centers provide care to people who disproportionately suffer from chronic disease and lack access to affordable, quality care.
Northeast Ohio is home to several federally qualified health centers and collectively, the FQHCs provide preventive and primary care services to thousands of people across the region. Throughout the global pandemic, FQHCs in the region administered COVID-19 vaccinations to minority populations at rates that far outpaced non-FQHC providers – keeping our most at-risk individuals safe and out of the hospital.
“Community health centers not only help close the health disparities gap by providing high quality care to our most vulnerable citizens, but health center staff serve as innovators who look beyond medical charts to address the factors that may cause poor health, such as poverty, homelessness, substance use, mental illness, lack of nutrition, and unemployment,” said Rita Horwitz, President and Chief Executive Officer, Better Health Partnership.
“Ohio’s FQHCs unify communities through collaborations and partnerships that lead to healthier neighborhoods from Lake Erie to the Ohio River – and everywhere in between,” said Randy Runyon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ohio Association of Community Health Centers. “While each is distinct in service, collectively health centers are the largest primary care network in the state and the nation. Their 55-year legacy of exceptional care lowers health care costs, increases health care outcomes, and serves as major economic engines in their communities.”
About National Health Center Week
National Health Center Week (August 7 – 13) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.
Community health centers serve as the beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. In moments of pain and loss, they offer support and love. In moments of triumph, they offer hope and a vision for the future. This National Health Center Week honors those front-line providers, staff, and beloved patients who lost their lives during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic. From the very beginning of the crisis, community health centers began finding innovative ways to provide preventative and primary care to their patients.