August 9-15, 2015: Health Center Week

WHEREAS, For nearly 50 years, Health Centers have provided high quality, cost-effective, affordable, and accessible primary and preventive care, regardless of individuals’ insurance status or ability to pay. Michigan Health Centers serve as health care homes for over 600,000 Michiganders through 240 delivery sites across the state. One in every 16 people living in Michigan depends on the services of a Health Center.

WHEREAS, Health Centers are located in medically underserved areas and locally-controlled by patient-majority boards, making each Health Center responsive to the needs of the specific communities it serves. Health Centers serve as critical economic engines helping to power local economies by generating billions of dollars in combined economic impact and creating jobs in some of the country’s and Michigan’s most economically deprived communities.

WHEREAS, In 2012, Michigan Health Centers provided 4,103.55 full time equivalent jobs in communities across the state. They employ physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives, along with social workers, case managers, and community health workers, as part of a multi-disciplinary clinical team designed to treat the whole patient, coordinating care and managing chronic disease, at the same time reducing unnecessary, avoidable, and wasteful use of health resources. The Health Center model continues to prove an effective means of overcoming barriers to access including geography, income and insurance status, and in doing so, improves health care outcomes and reduces health care system costs.  

WHEREAS, America’s Health Centers save the U.S. health system approximately $24 billion annually by managing chronic conditions and keeping patients out of costlier health care settings. Health Centers have worked tirelessly to grow the nation’s primary care infrastructure to meet the pressing needs of Americans who still lack access to primary care services, a number that exceeds 62 million nationwide.

WHEREAS, The demand for Health Centers continues to outpace growth, and expansion of the program will be essential to meet the needs of these new patients, as many existing Health Centers are already at capacity and many communities lack any primary care services at all. Health Centers remain committed to preserving and expanding access in the communities they serve, ensuring that the promise of coverage is translated into the reality of care.

WHEREAS, Health Center Week offers the opportunity to recognize Health Centers, their dedicated staff, board members, and all those responsible for the continued success and growth of the program since its creation 50 years ago. During this Health Center Week, we recognize the significant contributions of Health Centers in their vital role as local engines for healthier communities and a healthier Michigan.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 9 through 15, 2015, as Health Center Week in Michigan.