National Health Center Week takes place from August 9 through 15 this year. This is a yearly event that focuses on celebrating community health centers throughout the U.S. Each day of the week focuses on a specific area of community health. National Health Center Week 2020 This year’s celebration aims to honor those providing crucial services during the ongoing pandemic, as well as pay tribute to those who need community health services. Health services go beyond physical health and also include mental and behavioral support. During this week, you can spend time personally reflecting on each focus day or plan events as part of this celebration. Here are the focus areas for each day of the week. Public Health In Housing Day Sunday, August 9th focuses on honoring those who handle the social determinants of health for communities. These social determinants refer to different factors that affect a community’s needs, such as environmental conditions and socioeconomic conditions. Understanding these factors is an essential part of making sure that individuals in communities have access to the services they need for physical and mental well-being, including medical services and behavioral health services. Healthcare For The Homeless Day Monday, August 10th celebrates those responsible for providing health services to homeless populations. Health centers throughout the U.S. serve roughly 1.3 million people living in homeless conditions annually. Since homeless populations in communities tend to have higher rates of mental and behavioral health problems, as well as higher rates of medical issues, these services are important. Services include outreach programs and trauma-informed care for the homeless. Agricultural Worker Health Day Tuesday, August 11th is dedicated to honoring those who oversee and provide healthcare services, including mental and behavioral health care, to agricultural workers. Community health centers provide services to roughly 20 percent out of the 4.5 million individuals working in agriculture in the U.S. Those whose work is celebrated on this focus day include:
- community health center staff and clinicians
- consumer board members
- others who help migrant and agricultural workers receive medical and mental health care
Patient Appreciation Day Wednesday, August 12th acknowledges and celebrates patients who receive medical and behavioral health services from community health centers. Community health center boards are made up of at least 51 percent of individuals who receive services from these facilities. Patients are an important part of advocating for quality healthcare services in the community, including services aimed at improving physical health and mental health. Stakeholder Appreciation Day Thursday, August 13th recognizes and honors legislators and legislative staff who play an important role in providing support for community health centers through policymaking. These stakeholders help push for budgets that allow community health centers to continue providing crucial physical and mental healthcare services for community members. This funding also makes it possible for health centers to meet the needs of their community. Health Center Staff Appreciation Day Friday, August 14th celebrates the staff members who are a vital part of community health centers. Staff members work hard to ensure health centers provide quality medical and behavioral health services to the community. Staff members and volunteers help keep community health centers functioning on a day-to-day basis, which helps ensure that community members continue to have access to local healthcare services. Children’s Health Day Saturday, August 15th honors children and highlights the need for high-quality healthcare services for young community members. Children receive a wide-range of services from community health centers, including wellness visits, sick visits, behavioral health services, and more. Health centers also host events to help children understand the importance of staying physically and emotionally healthy.