Neighborhood Health Center of WNY will be one of many community health centers nationwide to celebrate National Health Center Week (August 9-15, 2020), an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.
Community health centers serve as the beacon of strength, service and care in their communities. This year’s celebration honors those front line providers, staff and beloved patients who have disproportionately confronted the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic.
From the very beginning of the crisis, community health centers began finding innovative ways to provide preventive and primary care to patients. At the onset of this crisis, Neighborhood Health Center has continued serving their communities through TeleHealth, expanded free COVID-19 Drive-Up Testing, continued offerings of in-person office visits, providing access to affordable medications through section 340B designation, and ensuring patients and the community have access to basic necessities like food and housing.
As the pandemic further emphasizes the importance and need for innovation and adaptability in primary care, it is also imperative for community health centers to continue to be at the forefront of technology and testing efforts against the novel coronavirus. On average, Neighborhood Health Center sees about 60 patients daily through TeleHealth (about 15% of daily patient visit volume) and has provided COVID-19 tests to more than 2,000 individuals since starting its Drive-Up Community Testing initiative in late April.
As community health centers have always championed access to quality healthcare for everyone, efforts taking place during this specific period shine a light on a model of care that is truly meant to focus on health equity and community reinvestment.
Given the rapid changes in the public health landscape, Neighborhood Health Center will be marking National Health Center Week with a number of virtual events focused on health equity, prevention and wellness. One virtual event of note titled Spotlighting Our Community: A Conversation About Health Equity & Racial Justice, is a virtual forum that will include a panel of local experts in community health and social justice. Taking place via Zoom on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM, the community conversation will focus on the state of public health in the region and how community leaders can take a stand for social justice and health equity.
Along with these virtual events, Neighborhood Health Center will also host a socially distant, outdoor and free COVID-19 care kit and back to school supplies giveaway at the Blasdell, Mattina and Northwest offices on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. To find out more about Neighborhood Health Center’s National Health Center Week events, visit www.NHCWNY.org.