August 4 - August 10, 2019: Health Center Week

WHEREAS, for over 50 years, community health centers have provided high-quality, affordable, and comprehensive primary and preventive health care throughout our nation, delivering value to and having a significant impact on the United States health care system; and,


WHEREAS, the community health center movement was influenced by people such as Dr. Jack Geiger, who sought to target the roots of poverty and poor health outcomes by combining local and federal resources to address social, economic and medical issues; and,


WHEREAS, this unique approach to assisting countless people was made possible through requirements that patients and community members make up a majority of the boards of directors for community health centers; and,


WHEREAS, as the country’s largest primary care network, health centers are the health care home for 28 million Americans across the nation; one in every twelve people in the United States receive care from a community health center; and,


WHEREAS, health centers are a critical element of the health system, serving both rural and urban communities, and often providing the only accessible and dependable source of primary care; nationwide, health centers serve one in every five residents of rural areas; and,


WHEREAS, every day, health centers develop new approaches to integrating a wide range of services beyond primary care, including oral health, vision, behavioral health, and pharmacy services to meet the needs and challenges of their communities; and,


WHEREAS, community health centers are consumer-driven and patient-centered and are tailored to fit the unique needs of the communities they serve; their mission is simple, provide high-quality, affordable, and comprehensive medical services to everyone, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or their ability to pay; and,


WHEREAS, health centers reduce overall costs by helping to manage chronic conditions, keeping patients out of costlier health care settings like hospital emergency rooms; and,


WHEREAS, health centers are on the front lines of emerging health care crises, providing access to care for our nation’s Veterans, addressing the opioid epidemic, and responding to public health threats in the wake of natural disasters; and,


WHEREAS, Health Center Week offers the opportunity to celebrate Michigan’s 44 health centers, their 300 clinical sites, dedicated staff, board members, patients, and all those responsible for their continued success and growth; and,


WHEREAS, During Health Center Week, we celebrate the legacy of Michigan’s health centers and their vital role in shaping the past, present, and future of our state’s health care system;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 4-10, 2019, as Health Center Week in Michigan and encourage all people in our state to take part in this week by visiting their local health centers and celebrating the important partnership between our sate’s health centers and the communities they serve.