August 9, 2021—Washington, D.C.— The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), in partnership with the Health Center Advocacy Network, will celebrate the accomplishments of community health centers across the U.S. during this year’s National Health Center Week (NHCW), August 8-15. The theme for NHCW 2021 is “The Chemistry for Strong Communities,” which pays tribute to 50 years of public health support in communities around the country, including the most recent triumphs and losses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Specifically, NHCW honors the frontline providers, staff, and patients who lost their lives during the pandemic.  

“From the very beginning of the crisis, Community Health Centers began finding innovative ways to provide preventative and primary care to their patients. Building on prior efforts to establish stronger community programs, more and more schools and health centers are developing systems of care that rely on their combined strengths, model that will last well beyond the current emergency,” said Dave Taylor, COO of NACHC.

Each day of the week will focus on a specific area of public health. NHCW encourages organizations to host local events in their communities in solidarity with the national effort.  

NACHC also works closely with the School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA), a nonprofit that supports and advocates for high-quality health care in schools for the nation’s most vulnerable children. Most recently, the two organizations partnered with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations for adolescents in schools.  

“Across the U.S., Community Health Centers sponsor over half of SBHCs (school-based health centers). Their mission drives access to care to underserved populations and directly aligns with ensuring health care access to underserved children and adolescents,” said Robert Boyd, President and CEO of SBHA. “Community Health Centers receive federal funding, enhanced reimbursement, and other federal safety net protections that support SBHC start-up, sustainability, and expansion. Thank you to all the Community Health Centers and their staff for all you do!”

Aiding more than 30 million Americans, SBHCs deliver primary, behavioral health, and preventive care to patients who face barriers such as cost and lack of insurance.  

Throughout the summer and into the school year, SBHA and NACHC will assist health centers to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to students within the schools, where children spend most of their time, removing any transportation barriers. In addition, the organizations developed a technical assistance document to serve as a guide for administering vaccines via school-based health centers.  

To learn more about administering vaccines in schools, visit https://www.nachc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/School-Based-HC-Vaccination-Guide.pdf

 To learn more about SBHA’s initiatives and community events for NHCW Week, visit www.sbh4all.org. Or to learn more about NACHC’s National Health Center Week, visit www.healthcenterweek.org.  

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Since 1995, the School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation, has supported and advocated for high-quality healthcare in schools for the nation’s most vulnerable children. Working at the intersection of healthcare and education, SBHA is recognized as a leader in the field and a source for information on best practices by philanthropic, federal, state, and local partners and policymakers. There are over 2,500 school-based health centers (SBHCs) in the United States. Health centers sponsor over 50 percent of SBHCs, partnering with schools and sharing a vision for student health and academic outcomes. For more information on school-based health care visit www.sbh4all.org or email info@sbh4all.org. 

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