High Plains Community Health Center Celebrates National Health Center Week

High Plains Community Health Center holds a weeklong series of events to mark National Health Center Week each year in August. These events are part of a national campaign to increase awareness of the ways health centers are providing affordable health care in communities. A host of NHCW events are scheduled across the country, including health fairs, visits by Members of Congress and state officials to local health centers, press conferences, back-to-school drives, community breakfasts, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and much more.

High Plains Community Health Center is part of a nationwide network of locally-run health centers that serve more than 28 million people nationwide. They are on the front lines of national public health challenges - whether caring for veterans, providing opioid treatment, or responding to natural disasters. They are also a lifeline in remote and underserved communities where the nearest doctor or hospital can be as far as 50 miles or more away. Nearly half of health centers (44 percent) are located in rural communities.

Highlights of health center accomplishments include:
• Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;

• Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit;

• Serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget;

• Lowering the cost of children's primary care by approximately 35 percent;

• Treating 65,000 patients with Medication Assisted Therapy for opioid use disorder in 2017; and,

• Serving over 355,000 veterans throughout the country.

NHCW highlights how health centers are at the forefront of a nationwide shift in addressing environmental and social factors as an integral part of primary care, reaching beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and substance use disorders. Community Health Centers' success in managing chronic disease in medically vulnerable communities has helped reduce health care costs for American taxpayers.

Each day of NHCW is dedicated to a particular focus area. To learn more and view a listing of events please visit www.healthcenterweek.org.