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Community health centers serve over 28 million Americans in areas or populations underserved by medical care, and are one of the most valuable, effective tools we have in managing our nation's health care. There's a good chance that a community health center has improved your life, and this year's National Health Center Week is the perfect time to express your support and gratitude to the people who make community health centers possible.
So how can you show your appreciation? We've got some tips:
Normally people send flowers or greeting cards to doctors, nurses, or other health center staff, but right now is a time when we may want to avoid sending physical items. But even a simple email of thanks can brighten someone's day. If you're particularly close to a health center staff member, you may even want to send a gift card for a streaming service or online retailer! You can buy digital ones online and send them through email.
If a health center or its employees have made a difference in your life, share your story on social media! Many people aren't aware of the instrumental part health centers play in delivering access to health care to people who have faced economic, geographic, or cultural barriers to it. If you have a story about how a health center provided you with quality, necessary care, post it online with the hashtags #NHCW20 and #ValueCHCs! (And don't forget to tag the center and any relevant staff members if possible.)
The personal story that you're planning to share on social media? Tag your district's Representative! Sharing personal stories with your members of Congress can help get your voice heard and express your support for a system that's improved your life. And don't forget to sign up with the Health Center Advocacy Network for more information on other ways that you can support America's community health center system!
Many health centers are connected to non-profit or faith-based organizations that are eligible for charitable donations. If you have the means during this difficult time, donating to your local community health center is a great way to help those in need.
Health organizations around the world have given their recommendations on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, and it's important to listen to them right now. So stay indoors, don't gather, and only leave the house when absolutely necessary. Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. The best way you can show your appreciation to health centers right now is by reducing their massive workload and threat of infection.