By Tara Stevens, Health Program Manager, TCCHC
August 4-7th marks National Health Center Week 2019. Tillamook County Community Health Centers (TCCHC) joins the more than 10,00 locally run community health centers across the nation in celebrating this week to raise awareness about the missions, accomplishments and ways health centers are providing affordable health care.
Community Health centers (also called Federally Qualified Health Centers or FQHC’s) are independent, non-profit, non-governmental health care organizations that are defined by 4 key components:
- Open to everyone, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay and charge for services on a sliding fee scale
- Provide high quality, culturally competent and comprehensive services
- Located in medically underserved areas
- Operate under the direction of a patient-majority governing board
This year’s theme of “Rooted in Community” 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. A few highlights of health center accomplishments include:
- Serve as the health care home for more than 28 million patients in over 11,000 communities across the country;
- Reduce health care costs and produce savings – on average, health centers save 24% per Medicaid patient when compared to other providers;
- Integrate critical medical and social services such as oral health, mental health, substance abuse, case management, and translation under one roof;
- Employ over 220,000 people and generate at least $54.6 billion in total economic activity in some of the nation’s most distressed communities;
- Provide care to 1.4 million homeless patients and more than 350,000 veterans.
TCCHC provides primary health care services to community members of all ages in multiple locations throughout the county. They also offer preventative care services, such as immunizations and disease screenings, dental care from local providers at an affordable cost, and offer expanded care through their in-house registered dietitian and behavioral health providers. TCCHC also provides public health services that include the supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), home visits, tobacco prevention and education, and restaurant, food and water inspections.
TCCHC is proud to announce the arrival of the new mobile community health center. This mobile clinic will provide expanded access for community members to dental, physical and behavioral health care. Please join us in welcoming our newest team member and celebrating National Health Center Week at the Ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, August 7th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Tillamook Bay Community College, 4301 Third Street, Tillamook.
For more information about national health center week, visit healthcenterweek.org. For more information about TCCHC services, visit tillamookchc.org or call 503-842-3900.
TCCHC is the backbone agency for the Tillamook County Wellness coalition. For more local health and wellness information, visit tillamookcountyhealthmatters.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.