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August 8-14, 2021: Health Center Week

WHEREAS, for more than 50 years, community health centers have provided high-quality, affordable, comprehensive primary and preventive 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 are the health care home for 30 million Americans in over 14,000 communities across the nation, and one in 12 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 communities, and often providing the only accessible and dependable source of primary care in their communities, and, nationwide, health centers serve one in every five residents of rural areas; and,


WHEREAS, health centers have served as beacons of essential resources and support in testing and treatment in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic and will continue to offer reliable, affordable, high-quality care for America's most vulnerable and underserved communities; and,


WHEREAS, health centers are leaders in addressing racial disparities in health care, serving in medically underserved areas, providing primary care, dental, and behavioral health services in health centers governed by a board of directors made up of racially diverse patients; and,


WHEREAS, every day, health centers develop 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 communities; and,


WHEREAS, health centers are governed 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 $63.4 billion in economic activity in some of the country's most economically deprived communities; and,


WHEREAS, health centers nationally employ more than 253,000 people, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives who work as part of multidisciplinary clinical teams designed to meet the needs of each patient; and,


WHEREAS, the health center model continues to prove an effective means of overcoming barriers to health care access, including geography, income, and insurance status, while also improving health care outcomes and reducing health care system costs; and,


WHEREAS, health centers reduce overall costs of care by helping manage patients' chronic conditions, which keeps them out of costlier health care settings such as hospital emergency departments; and,


WHEREAS, health centers are on the front lines of emerging health care crises, providing access to care for our nation's veterans, addressing the opioid epidemic, and responding to public health threats in the wake of natural disasters; and,


WHEREAS, Health Center Week offers the opportunity to celebrate Michigan's health center organizations with service delivery sites, their dedicated staff, board members, patients, and all those responsible for their continued success and growth to this time;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 8-14, 2021, as Health Center Week in Michigan.