Demand for Minnesota's Community Health Centers Reaches All Time High as Congress Contemplates CHC Funding Bill
Aug 05, 2019 08:31AM
● By Editor
Media Release from the Minnesota Association of Health Care Centers - August 5, 2019
The Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers (MNACHC), an organization that supports the state’s community health center (CHC) network and its members in improving and maintaining the health and wellness of local communities, reported today that a record number of patients visited a Minnesota CHC over the past five years. During every year of this period, the number of behavioral health and substance use disorder services in Minnesota’s CHCs increased from the previous year, and they outperformed tobacco screening goals for adults established by Healthy People 2020, the 10-year national agenda for improving health of communities across the United States.
“We hope Congress will continue to recognize the benefits CHCs have provided across the U.S. over the past five decades and pass a long-term spending bill that secures their viability and the access to care that 28 million people in America depend upon.”
Minnesota’s 17 CHCs now serve nearly 200-thousand low-income Minnesotans in medically underserved areas, and function as a vital component of Minnesota’s health care safety net, providing comprehensive primary and preventive care to people who would otherwise lack access to these services. Minnesota’s health centers are part of the largest primary care network in the United States, consisting of 1,400 CHCs that are at the forefront of addressing health care disparities and preventing people from needing otherwise unnecessary and expensive emergency room visits and hospitalization.
As non-profit organizations, governed by community board members, Minnesota’s CHCs work to build equity and close health disparities, which are some of the widest in the country. Through numerous programs in Minnesota’s urban and rural regions, including substance abuse abatement, prenatal care, tobacco cessation and diabetes management, Minnesota’s CHCs play an essential role in improving access to high quality health care for all.
“Minnesota’s Community Health Centers have enjoyed passionate societal and bi-partisan support because of our four-fold focus on ensuring access to primary health care services, improving health outcomes and the wellness of communities and patients throughout the state, delivering a trusting relationship with patients, and lowering health care spending by emphasizing primary care over unnecessary emergency room use and hospitalizations,” said Jonathan Watson, CEO, Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers. “We hope Congress will continue to recognize the benefits CHCs have provided across the U.S. over the past five decades and pass a long-term spending bill that secures their viability and the access to care that 28 million people in America depend upon.”
During National Health Center Week 2019 (August 4 – 10), health centers across the U.S. will engage with their communities in numerous ways to highlight the important work that they do every day.
About Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers
The Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers (MNACHC) is a non-profit membership organization of Minnesota’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). MNACHC works on behalf of its members to promote the cost-effective delivery of affordable, quality primary health care services, with a special emphasis on meeting the needs of low income and medically underserved populations.
CEO Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers