2021 NHCW Wrap-Up

National Health Center Week, celebrated from August 8-14, is an annual celebration to raise awareness of the mission of community health centers and recognize their accomplishments. During National Health Center Week 2021, we reflected on how health centers, their staff, and their patients each play a part in advancing the health center movement.  
National Health Center Week in Review 
Thank you to the community health center staff, patients, and community members who made National Health Center Week 2021 a time of reflection and celebration! Throughout the week, health centers honored their patients, staff, and community members by hosting events, meeting with elected officials, and by telling the health center story through media.  
National Health Center Week in the News 
In recognition of National Health Center Week 201, Governor Bill Lee issued a proclamation declaring August 8-14 to be Health Center Week in Tennessee and encouraged Tennesseans to join him in that observance.   Two leaders from Tennessee health centers penned op-eds that were featured in in and Dr. Dennis Freeman, CEO of Cherokee Health described how health centers ensure access to quality health care for all and how Cherokee Health System's innovative care model adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.   Jenny Dittes, PA-C, CEO of HOPE Family Health in Westmoreland, TN, wrote of how HOPE's care team empowered a patient with complex conditions take charge of her health and make life-changing improvements to her health and well-being.   Libby Thurman, Interim CEO of TPCA co-wrote an op-ed with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on how health centers meet the needs of underserved communities in urban and rural areas and outlined certain policies that can improve health care delivery at community health centers.  
Visits from Legislators 
Community health centers have enjoyed broad, bi-partisan support for more than 50 years. We are grateful for the support from the Tennessee General Assembly and Tennessee's Congressional Delegation. Several legislators participated in meetings and visits with community health centers during National Health Center Week. During these visits, health centers provided tours of their centers for legislators and engaged in conversations about key issues such as their COVID-19 response, the use of telehealth, and the 340B program. During National Health Center Week:  
  • Congressman David Kustoff (R-8) visited Christ Community Health Services in Jackson, TN. 
  • Congressman Jim Cooper (D-5) met virtually with Connectus Health, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, and Neighborhood Health in Nashville, TN.  
  • Congressman John Rose (R-6) visited Neighborhood Health in Lebanon, TN. 
  • State Senator Shane Reeves (R-) visits Mercy Community Healthcare in Franklin, TN. 
Reflecting and Looking Forward 
As we reflect on the events of National Health Center Week 2021, we extend our gratitude to the dedicated staff members of community health centers across the state for their tireless efforts to care for patients, staff, and community members during the current public health crisis and beyond. We look forward to honoring all of the ways health centers care for their communities in the coming year.



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