In case you didn’t know, next week – August 7th-13th, 2016 – is National Health Center Week (NHCW). This event has been going on for more than 30 years, and is sponsored by the National Association of Community Health Centers (aka NACHC).
According to the event website, the goals of NHCW are twofold:
- To enhance the visibility and profile of Community, Migrant, Homeless, and Public Housing Centers.
- To generate community pride and build support for the health center program.
It’s also a great opportunity for health centers to speak out by telling the story of their community-based model of care in order to create public awareness of what they do and how they do it.
Health centers are encouraged to develop and coordinate activities with their State and Regional Primary Care Associations and other health centers. In addition, health centers can enlist the support of volunteers from the community to coordinate events with other community organizations as well as solicit sponsorships from the private business sector.
Even if your health center does not plan to organize an event, you can encourage a local newspaper to write a story about the impact of your health center’s role in the community by sending out a press release announcing NHCW and inviting local officials and state and national lawmakers to visit. If you need a little help, there is a media toolkit on the event website that includes templates for letters to the editor, press releases, and opinion editorials.
Additionally, you can request a “proclamation” from your town that recognizes your health center’s contributions in reducing health disparities and promoting health and prevention. A proclamation is an official statement from your Governor, State, Legislature, Mayor, City Council, County, or local governing body, and there is a sample template on the NHCW website.
You can post about and follow NHCW happenings on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets by using/searching the hashtags #NHCW16 and #CHCsInnovate. More tools and information are available on the NHCW website.
What is your health center doing in observation of National Health Center Week this year?