National Health Center Week, August 9th-15th, is an annual celebration aimed at raising awareness about the mission and contributions of community health centers, like CHAS Health, over the past half century. This year’s theme is “Community Health Centers: Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future.” In 2019, 84% of CHAS Health’s patients identified as low income and we served nearly 15,000 patients experiencing homelessness. Community health centers were created specifically to address health disparities and we are proud to continue to meet this mission.
While it can be challenging to find cause for celebration during these uncertain times – we feel now more than ever it is important to highlight the great work that CHAS Health and Health Centers across the nation are doing.
In Washington State alone, our community health centers have adjusted operations to meet the increased demand for healthcare from uninsured patients throughout our communities. These changes include expanded telehealth access, opening of COVID testing sites, and increased public education activities.
These interventions have served as a shock absorber to help our local hospitals avoid overcrowding. While there is still more to do, we hope this week will serve as an opportunity for us to share some of our great work.