DHHS Observes Health Center Week DHHS is joining with the N.C. Community Health Center Association, citizens and partners across the state to observe National Health Center Week, Aug. 13-19.

Raleigh

Sec Cohen visits community health center in Raleigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., visits with health care providers at Advance Community Health Center in Raleigh.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is joining with the N.C. Community Health Center Association, citizens and partners across the state to observe National Health Center Week, Aug. 13-19.

In recognition, DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., today visited the Advance Community Health Center in Raleigh and Gov. Roy Cooper signed a proclamation designating the third week of August as National Health Center Week in North Carolina.

“Community health centers play a vital role in our state’s health care safety net, taking care of medical and related needs of citizens in the communities they serve,” said Maggie Sauer, director of the Office of Rural Health at DHHS. “For 50 years, community health centers have provided access to primary care to their communities regardless of insurance status and patients’ ability to pay.”

These facilities serve vulnerable populations in North Carolina, engage the community and create jobs. They reduce health care costs by decreasing hospitalizations and treating patients more economically and effectively than emergency department visits.

Additionally, the centers rely on case managers and community health workers to provide support to patients, help them navigate the healthcare system, and connect them to social supports and other resources.

North Carolina Community Health Centers:

  • Are located in 85 of North Carolina’s 100 counties
  • Serve more than 480,000 patients, most of whom are uninsured
  • Employ more than 3,400 staff and generate more than $136 million in direct federal, state and private grants to local communities
  • Manage the sickest patients with chronic conditions and co-morbidities
  • Treat patients with an average annual cost per patient of $677 compared to an average $1,233 for a single emergency department visit
  • Are strategically located in areas with underserved populations or special populations that need medical services
  • Integrate critical medical services and other health services such as oral health, mental health, substance abuse, case management, and translation, under one roof
  • Focus on reducing health disparities

Health centers produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in their communities. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and addiction.

For more information on community health centers in North Carolina, visit the N.C. Community Health Center Association at ncchca.org.