Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed Aug. 12-18 as Community Health Center Week in North Carolina, noting that more than 500,000 patients, most of whom are uninsured, are served through 42 centers serving 85 of the state’s 100 counties. Health centers work to reduce health disparities and improve health for individuals and families.
“Community health centers help people across North Carolina who would otherwise lack access to medical services get the quality, affordable health care they need,” Governor Cooper said. “These centers are the core of primary health care for many of our communities and can reach beyond the doctor’s office to address factors that impact health including mental illness, substance use, and access to food and housing.
“Even with the great work of community health centers, far too many people lack access to health care so we must keep pushing to expand health coverage in North Carolina,” Gov. Cooper added.
Community Health Centers in North Carolina provide health care to medically underserved areas, and help to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room. They treat patients for a fraction of the average cost of an emergency room visit, lower the cost of children’s primary care by about 35 percent and are led by patient-majority boards.
They also provide preventive care, and bring high quality medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and enabling services under one roof, without regard to the patients’ ability to pay.
North Carolina’s Community Health Centers plan events during the week-long observance ranging from health and wellness fairs, open house and tours to a community health walk, a fun run and school supply drives.
For more information on community health centers in North Carolina, visit the N.C. Community Health Center Association at ncchca.org.