August 13-19, 2017: Health Center Week

WHEREAS, for over 50 years, Community Health Centers have provided high-quality, affordable, comprehensive primary and preventative health care in our nation’s underserved communities, delivering value to, and having a significant impact on, America’s health care system; and,

WHEREAS, as the country’s largest primary care network, Health Centers now serve as the health care home for over 25 million Americans in over 10,000 delivery sites across the nation. One in every 13 people in the United States gets their care in a community health center; and,

WHEREAS, Health Centers are a critical element of the health system, serving both rural and urban populations, and often providing the only accessible and dependable source of primary care in their communities. Nationwide, Health Centers serve one in every six residents of rural areas; and,

WHEREAS, every day, Health Centers are developing new approaches to integrating a wide range of services beyond primary care, including oral health, vision, behavioral health, and pharmacy services, to meet the needs and challenges of their community; and,

WHEREAS, Health Centers are locally controlled by patient-majority boards, ensuring that the patients of each Health Center are engaged in their own health care decisions; and,

WHEREAS, Health Centers are locally owned and operated small businesses that serve as critical economic engines, helping to power local economies by generating billions of dollars in combined economic impact in some of the country’s most economically deprived communities; and,

WHEREAS, Health Centers nationally employ nearly 190,000 people, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives who work as part of multi-disciplinary clinical teams designed to treat the whole patient; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Center model continues to prove as an effective means of overcoming barriers to healthcare access, including geography, income and insurance status, and in doing so, improves health care outcomes and reduces health care system costs; and,

WHEREAS, Health Centers reduce overall costs of care by managing chronic conditions and keeping patients out of costlier health care settings, like hospital emergency rooms.

WHEREAS, National Health Center Week offers the opportunity to recognize America’s Health Centers, their dedicated staff, board members, and all those responsible for their continued success and growth since the first health centers opened their doors more than 50 years ago. During this National Health Center Week, we celebrate the legacy of America’s Health Centers and their vital role in shaping the future of America’s health care system;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 13-19, 2017 as Health Center Week in Michigan.