By Kristin St. John, Deputy Director of National Grassroots Advocacy, National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
We are hearing a lot in the news about how health care is changing, and not necessarily for the better. However, there is one bright spot in health care that has been around for more than 50 years, and the only way it’s changing is that it’s getting bigger and better: Community health centers.
As proven innovators and problem-solvers in treating chronic disease, community health centers save money and lives because they don’t just prevent illness—they look beyond medical charts to address the social factors that lead to poor health, such as homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, lack of nutrition, stress, and unemployment.
Health centers are not only part of a national network that is the family doctor to more than 28 million Americans; they are rooted in the communities they serve. While providing a wide range of primary care services, like pharmacy, dental, geriatric or pediatric care, they also host farmer’s markets and story-time sessions for kids.
By helping to build strong communities, health centers are on the front lines dealing with complex issues, including opioid addiction, low birth weights among newborns, hypertension and obesity in economically challenged neighborhoods—health conditions that, if left unchecked, lead patients to end up in hospital emergency rooms for costly treatment.
Every community member—veterans, seniors, children, insured and uninsured, employed and unemployed, can find affordable care behind the doors of a community health center. To find out more about what they do, visit for a local health center in your neighborhood during National Health Center Week, which is Aug. 4-10, 2019.
Editor’s note: When individuals with disabilities apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, they need medical evidence to proceed with their claim. Health centers nationwide provide important access to medical treatment. Learn more at Expert.TrueHelp.com.