2012-08-02 / Local & State

Health Center Week August 5-11

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Tri-State Community Health Center will celebrate National Health Center Week August 5-11, 2012, to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers.

Community Health Centers, like Tri-State, are the nation’s largest primary care “safety-net” and deliver high-quality, cost-effective and accessible patientcentered primary and preventive healthcare to all individuals regardless of their ability to pay. More than 1,200 health centers serve as medical homes for more than 20 million individuals at more than 8,100 locations. Tri- State has four sites and serves 3,939 patients in McConnellsburg, 5,313 in Hancock and 7,277 in Cumberland, Md.

Health centers are owned and controlled by local volunteer patient majority boards, which ensure that each health center is accountable and responsive to the community it serves and collaborates with other partners to improve the health and quality of life for the entire community. Health centers are critical economic engines that help power local economies. In 2009 alone, health centers generated $20 billion in combined economic impact and were responsible for nearly 200,000 jobs in areas hit hardest by the recession. In 2009, Maryland’s 16 health centers spurred an estimated economic impact of $241 million, and Tri-State’s economic impact was $14.3 million.

At health centers, multi-disciplinary clinical teams employ more than 9,500 physicians and more than 6,300 nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives who treat the whole patient through culturally competent, integrated and coordinated care. This unique model allows health centers to save the entire health system – including the government and taxpayers – approximately $24 billion annually by keeping patients out of costlier healthcare settings such as emergency rooms and hospitals.

Susan Walter, CEO of Tri- State, noted, “Health centers have earned respect and support from bipartisan presidents and members of Congress and state legislatures for the “Return on Value” of their savings to the American economy, their economic impact for underserved communities, and their quality of care for over 20 million individuals – many of who would not otherwise receive care. As not-for-profit business, health centers generate revenue through billing for the services we provide. Additionally, health centers write competitive grants to return tax dollars to our communities to provide care for our un/underinsured and low-income community members. Because we receive some federal funds, health centers are heavily regulated to assure excellence in clinical services and financial, administrative, and governance oversight.”

National Health Center Week offers the opportunity to recognize America’s health centers – their staff, board members and all those responsible for the continued success and growth of the Health Center program since it was created over 45 years ago.

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