The staff, patients, and board members of Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center are joining the call to urge lawmakers on Capitol Hill to extend funding for Community Health Centers and preserve affordable health care in the community. On Tuesday medical providers and staff members will be wearing red clothing and talking with Congressional representatives in an effort to “fix the funding cliff”.
Critical funding for health centers and other programs expired on October 1st 2017. Every health center, including Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center has had to make tough budget choices to ensure they can continue to provide care until Congress acts.
“Although we have been working diligently to be sure Congress funds Community Health Centers, today’s focus is on the patients and our communities. Wearing red is an outward sign that we are here to bridge the healthcare gap for everyone regardless of income, race, gender, zip code, or nationality,” said Kim Schwartz, RCCHC CEO.
Health centers, which currently serve 27 million patients, are already enacting hiring freezes, cutting back key programs and services for patients, and facing site closures. Not only will the funding cliff trigger job losses in the local economy, on a national scale it means the closure of 2,800 health center sites, loss of health care access for 9 million patients, and more than 50,000 job losses.
Health center advocates organized a Day of Demonstration to call attention to the funding cliff on Tuesday, February 6th. They are also visiting Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and urge them to pass legislation that will extend funding in the next Continuing Resolution.
To learn more about health centers, visit www.nachc.org. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at a #RedAlert4CHCs