August 12th to 18th is National Health Center Week. If you aren’t already familiar with Community Health Centers (CHCs), you should be. In fact, if you are reading this article, you probably get your primary medical care from one! (See the final paragraph to learn why.)
CHCs are part of the public health safety net. There are over 1,250 CHCs in the United States. Together, they provide care for more than 25 million people. They are non-profit organizations that focus on the needs of the local community. CHCs do not turn anyone away based on their ability to pay for care.
No two CHCs are exactly alike. Each one reflects the character and needs of its own local area. Some were founded by civil rights leaders, others by immigrants. One CHC in this state was founded by the Black Panther Party (Carolyn Downs). The next time you are at your CHC, you should ask about its history. You will likely come away inspired.
Community Health Plan of Washington—your health plan—was formed in 1992 by a group of CHCs across the state. They wanted to go the extra mile and create a health plan that was not-for-profit and dedicated to serving their communities. To this day, our mission has not changed. We are proud to serve our network of CHCs and you, their members.
CHCs do so much good for the community. This August 12th to 18th, please be sure to join us in celebrating National Health Center Week. And to everyone who works at or receives their care from a CHC, thank you!