National Health Centers Week: Why CHP is Celebrating

Posted: August 14, 2017

CHP Joins Health Centers across the U.S. to Mark National Health Center Week

Massachusetts community health centers will join with health centers from across the country to demonstrate their value to patients, communities and the larger healthcare system during National Health Center Week, August 13 – 19.

One of the bright spots in America’s healthcare system, community health centers serve more than 25 million Americans and have compiled a significant record of success that includes:

  • Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings;
  • Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;
  • Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit;
  • Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent; and,
  • Serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget.

In Massachusetts, health centers continue to meet the growing demand for their primary care. Health centers like CHP having added 400,000 new patients since the start of state health reform in 2006. Today, Massachusetts health centers:

  • Serve nearly one million people (one of 6.7 state residents);
  • Generate a total economic impact of $1.6 billion as significant regional employers and local purchasers of goods and services;
  • Support 12,000 full-time jobs at health centers and in other industries;
  • Bring more than $112 million in annual federal funding for health centers to Massachusetts; and
  • Save the Commonwealth almost $1billion annually by helping to lower the number of avoidable emergency department visits and hospitalizations, and by decreasing patients’ reliance on specialty care.

In the Berkshires, Community Health Programs’ primary care practice sites throughout Berkshire County, now count nearly 35,000 patients and 223 employees.

Community health centers prevent illness and foster wellness in unique populations, producing innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in our communities. From providing some of the nation’s first HIV services, to pioneering models of care for patients suffering with chronic illness, to expanding treatment for patients suffering with addiction, Massachusetts health centers continue to meet the never-ending challenge of providing access to care for people who, without community health centers, might not have it.

What’s more, Massachusetts community health centers go beyond the provision of medical care to address the underlying social and economic factors that influence patients’ overall health and well-being, such as mental illness, homelessness, and a lack of access to nutritious food. Programs that integrate patients’ physical and mental health, as well as initiatives like fitness and wellness centers, farmers’ markets, career training institutes, cooking demonstration kitchens, charter schools and even patient hiking trails located behind a CHP’s Great Barrington health center – all seek to broaden the definition of what it means to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care.

At CHP, we thrive not just because of what we do, but with whom we do it: Our community partnerships include organizations like Berkshire Health Systems and Fairview Hospital, Greenagers’ youth jobs program, the Western Massachusetts Food Bank, Tapestry Health, United Way, our local schools, and so many more.

To learn more about NHCW visit www.massleague.org.  and follow the League on Facebook and on Twitter, @MassLeague. National Health Center Week is supported by the National Association of Community Health Centers.

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