Let’s Show Some Love!
August 4th - 10th marks National Health Center Week 2019. This national campaign aims to increase awareness of the ways health centers provide affordable health care in communities.
Health centers serve more than 28 million people across the nation. They are on the front lines of national public health challenges, especially related to our mission of advancing reproductive health — whether educating about birth control options, caring for adolescents, or providing access to STI testing.
These centers are also a lifeline in remote and underserved communities where the nearest doctor or hospital can be as far as 50 miles away or more. A significant amount of health centers are located in rural communities. Beyond this, health centers reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room and treats patients at a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit.
Fact Forward, which has a Health Services team dedicated to supporting clinicians across South Carolina, believes that health centers play a crucial role in advancing adolescent reproductive health and our state’s future.
“Many adolescents have trouble accessing reproductive health services due to a number barriers that health centers work to eliminate,” Katrina James, Health Services Specialist at Fact Forward, said. “I believe health centers understand the importance of having these services, which ultimately gives adolescents the opportunity to lead healthier lives through the efforts of education, prevention, and outreach.”
Health Centers located on college campuses prove to be just as pivotal to the health of a community as those located in rural or urban areas. Brittany Wearing, College Campus Coordinator at Fact Forward, says “Aside from traditional health centers, health centers located on college campuses plays a pivotal role in providing convenient care to not only students but faculty and staff. We’ve been told that the health center on campus is often the first point of contact when students or faculty/staff have illness.”
This year, the NHCW 2019 campaign is highlighting how health centers are at the forefront of a nationwide shift in addressing environmental and social factors as an integral part of primary care.